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Exorcisms, Conjurations And Social Change by Levin A. Diatschenko

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In Eliphas Levi’s classic work on Western magic, Transcendental Magic, Its Doctrine and Ritual, he explains some basic rules for conjurations. Paraphrasing Trithemius, who in magic was the master of Cornelius Agrippa, Levi says, “To evoke a spirit is to enter into the dominant thought of that spirit, and if we raise ourselves morally higher along the same line, we shall draw the spirit away with us, and it will certainly serve us.” To this Levi adds, “To conjure is to oppose the resistance of a current and a chain to an isolated spirit – cum jurare, to swear together, that is, to make a common act of faith. The greater the strength and enthusiasm of this faith, the more efficacious is the conjuration.”

 

What does all this mean?

  

If the principles of magic are present in everyday life, this arcane book from the eighteenth hundreds is useful and practical, rather than a collection of abstracts. The central point gathered above is that in order to conjure a certain influence, one must enter into sympathy with it first. That, at least, is a readily seen principle in life, even if the reader has not used it to conjure ‘spirits’. An example is when you enter into sympathy with a person, and gain their trust; it is consequently easier to ‘evoke’ their feelings or opinions, that is, to get them to open up to you.

  

To “oppose the resistance of a current and a chain to an isolated spirit” can be seen in another example: when you preach at someone, or push your beliefs on them, this usually repels them. But to show interest in their beliefs or culture, “swears” you both “together” in understanding. The person would then respect you enough to listen to your beliefs. In short, you bring out in yourself that which you wish to conjure up in another. Because “we are all one” as the catch-phrase says, this ‘spirit’ in you and the other person is actually the same spirit filtered through different psychological histories.

  

To elaborate in a further metaphor, in the Japanese martial art of aikido if it is difficult to push the opponent over because of strong resistance, you are taught to pull them first. Then, as the united weight has fallen all one way, you can push again with a greater ease.

  

Later on in the same book, Levi explains further: “We may act individually when evoking a spirit, but to conjure we must speak in the name of a circle or an association; this is the significance of the hieroglyphical circle traced round the magus who is operating, and out of which he must not pass unless he wishes at the same moment to be stripped of all his power.”

  

This principal is pretty straight forward – Malcome X acted as an individual but he spoke in the name of all African Americans. He was thus able to conjure their fighting spirit into action. Gandhi acted as an individual but represented India (today he represents even more than India). The wonderful Annie Besant represented many things – all women, all Irish people, all people of goodwill, and Theosophical values are four examples. Blavatsky represented The Ancient Wisdom, or humankind’s refusal to stop believing in something more than matter. And so on.

  

What a person works, fights and lives for is his ‘circle,’ in magical terminology, “out of which he must not pass unless he wishes at the same moment to be stripped of all his power.” In other words, to stop representing something larger than your self is to act on behalf of one solitary, self-centred man, for his own gain. Thus you only gain the power of one isolated man.

  

When Gandhi spun and wove cloth, calling others to join him, he was conjuring the feeling of unity and self-love inside the Indian people. When Martin Luther King trod on the streets without violence, he was conjuring the goodwill of all Americans. The amount of people imitating each other in the same act shows the extent to which that one spirit was conjured.  

  

In this way we can talk of conjuring spirits and inspiring qualities in people, as based upon the same principles. Potentially, we can use these principles of magic to better the world. One could enter into sympathy with a group, so that he becomes the group (i.e. a part of it), then draw them upwards into a state of enthusiasm. From this healthy state, possibilities multiply. The above examples did it and so have many others. 

  

Sociology and magic are analogous because they share the same natural laws underneath the surface. Francis Bacon, another great magician of the Rosicrucian creed, said that analogies are not only “similitudes (as men of narrow observation may conceive them to be), but plainly the same footsteps of nature treading or printing upon different subjects and matters”. To be sure, one definition of magic is the Science of Analogies.

  

Alice A. Bailey, founder of World Goodwill and the Arcane School, said: “Every form is the result of thought and of sound. Every form veils or conceals an idea or concept. Every form, therefore, is but the symbol or attempted representation of an idea and this is true without exception on all the planes of the solar system, wherein forms are found whether created by God, man or deva.”

  

The great Patanjali, in his Raja Yoga Sutras, agrees: “The reading of symbols produces contact with the soul.” To be able to see all things as symbols of some hidden association is something magicians train themselves to do, to penetrate beneath the surface. Alice A. Bailey called this ‘spiritual reading’.   

  

Using this rule, all a ritual magician’s tools are analogous to some quality inside him. The wand is his Will, the sword is his Knowledge, the cup is his mind, and so forth. He constructs them in such a way that by Pavlovian Conditioning and intense concentration, he will associate each tool with its correct quality. To construct his wand, for example, the magus would put himself through a great test of will power to acquire the materials to build it. Afterwards, merely touching it would bring up the association of triumph and purpose in that event, and recollect that strength from inside him.

  

In the same way that he projected his will into an object, the conjurer projects qualities into a symbol. Then, as long as the association is well established, what ever he does to the symbol has real consequences. Another social example is the Australian flag. A mere piece of coloured cloth causes emotional changes in people whenever they see it displayed. Even more so when they see it burned. Each flag is a different one, but they contain the same symbol, that of Australia. So, people see all of them as the same object. And when it burns, the patriotic onlooker actually feels as if something has been done to him. That’s magic, albeit diluted; like a voodoo doll.

  

Banishing demons or negative influences works in a similar way, according to most occult authorities. The demons need to be evoked, or projected into something, so that they are seen and trapped. From this vantage point, they can then be banished. Christ did it by sending the “Legion” of demons into a group of pigs, who then plunged off a cliff.

  

I once saw a self-help seminar on Chuck Norris’s TV show Walker Texas Ranger, where a muscle-bound man handcuffed both his own wrists; he said to the crowd, “These hand cuffs represent all my limitations, my doubts,” etc. Then he broke the chains using brute strength. Similar principle.  

  

In Liber Null and Psychonaut, Peter J. Carrol (co-founder of Chaos Magic and the I.O.T.) tells of a time he attempted an exorcism:--

 

“In the flats where I was living at the time in the big city, there was a chap making a progressive descent into madness. Let us call him Ron. Most head doctors would have diagnosed him as schizophrenic. His behaviour was bizarre in the extreme. He heard voices continually and he imagined persecution from the most unlikely sources. One day he paid me a visit, drawn perhaps by rumours of my odd interests. He was dressed in perhaps five sets of clothes, starving hungry, and almost completely out of his mind. He had been camping out on a heath for some time to avoid the demons in his flat. Having made him as comfortable as possible I thought I should perhaps try and do anything I could to help.

   “We went into a room I had prepared for various magical experiments and I applied the standard procedures of exorcism. Nothing would work. Ron became very defensive and just kept mumbling in a stream of dissociated nonsense. Nothing would make him manifest the demons he complained of, so that they could be banished. In exasperation I decided to be his demon. I advanced upon him snarling and cursing, menacing him with weapons and threats, throwing back at him all the stuff he had been complaining of. For a few minutes I became his paranoia. Clad in strange robes in a dark room full of burning sulphur, I held his soul at sword point and thoroughly evoked hell all about him. The effect was remarkable. He opened up and became completely lucid and reasonable, trying to talk his way out of the predicament, using perfect sense and logic with the correct emotional responses. Thereupon I turned the act off and got us both out of the choking chamber. Ron was then normal for another twenty minutes during which time we tried to work out how he was going to get his life back together. Toward the end of this though he began to slip back into his insane mode, and by the time he suddenly decided to leave he was completely crazy again. It was my greatest regret that I didn’t have the facilities to detain him and try and do something more for him. As the witch doctors say, a man who gets sick in the head can be helped, but a man with a ‘bad soul,’ that is, a long-term head case, often proves intractable. I only saw Ron briefly once again after the psychiatrists had had their way with him, and he seemed a virtual cabbage. Let’s hope it was only sedatives.”

 

I cannot help but note how the principals of non-violent resistance are closely related to the principals of exorcism or banishment. Peter J. Carrol did not resist Ron’s negativity but affirmed it, became it. This is analogous to not resisting a strike, but turning the other cheek. The key here is the perception of unity – that neither person present is the enemy or demon.

  

Again, the same principle works out in daily life, only in a ‘diluted form’ (if I may use such an expression). I remember feeling depressed and hopeless then confiding in someone who was generally pessimistic. That someone basically said, “you’re right; there is no hope,” though in different words. In that moment, she was a mirror to my hopelessness, and when I looked in it, I saw the ‘demon’ that was on my back. In disgust I then found myself ‘exorcised’ and piping up, disagreeing with my friend. My true self underneath my mood did not believe that. My despair was apparently sucked out and in the vacuum my will came back. 

  

When my friend and I became one in our distress, by imitating each other, we could look at ‘ourself’ and see the problem. In the end, we are only many metaphors for the same invisible life.

  

When people do resist, we usually take that as a lack of understanding – as in, “Take your rosy glasses off and shove them up your arse!” So, non-violent resistance is a way of drawing out the demon in others. Eye-for-an-eye strategy is a way of perpetuating the demon.

  

All this suggests a hidden genius within the New Testament, and a logical process to magical doctrine. I’ve always looked at people like Gandhi and Besant (and the others mentioned above, etc.) as unofficial scientists who have come upon a formula for changing the world. Let’s say, the problem or goal of the ‘experiment of life’ is to transcribe ideals of peace and unity into realities in the material world. Then, the scientist should theoretically be able to recreate the same conditions again at will. To me, these correspondences spark up enthusiasm and the keenness to begin experimenting. On the other hand, sometimes I feel like that stupid mouse in the maze who takes the longest amount of time to find the way out.          
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Exorcisms, Conjurations & Social Change> by Levin A. Diatschenko

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In Eliphas Levi’s classic work on Western magic, Transcendental Magic, Its Doctrine and Ritual, he explains some basic rules for conjurations. Paraphrasing Trithemius, who in magic was the master of Cornelius Agrippa, Levi says, “To evoke a spirit is to enter into the dominant thought of that spirit, and if we raise ourselves morally higher along the same line, we shall draw the spirit away with us, and it will certainly serve us.” To this Levi adds, “To conjure is to oppose the resistance of a current and a chain to an isolated spirit – cum jurare, to swear together, that is, to make a common act of faith. The greater the strength and enthusiasm of this faith, the more efficacious is the conjuration.”

 

What does all this mean?

 

If the principles of magic are present in everyday life, this arcane book from the eighteenth hundreds is useful and practical, rather than a collection of abstracts. The central point gathered above is that in order to conjure a certain influence, one must enter into sympathy with it first. That, at least, is a readily seen principle in life, even if the reader has not used it to conjure ‘spirits’. An example is when you enter into sympathy with a person, and gain their trust; it is consequently easier to ‘evoke’ their feelings or opinions, that is, to get them to open up to you.

To “oppose the resistance of a current and a chain to an isolated spirit” can be seen in another example: when you preach at someone, or push your beliefs on them, this usually repels them. But to show interest in their beliefs or culture, “swears” you both “together” in understanding. The person would then respect you enough to listen to your beliefs. In short, you bring out in yourself that which you wish to conjure up in another. Because “we are all one” as the catch-phrase says, this ‘spirit’ in you and the other person is actually the same spirit filtered through different psychological histories.

 

To elaborate in a further metaphor, in the Japanese martial art of aikido if it is difficult to push the opponent over because of strong resistance, you are taught to pull them first. Then, as the united weight has fallen all one way, you can push again with a greater ease.

 

Later on in the same book, Levi explains further: “We may act individually when evoking a spirit, but to conjure we must speak in the name of a circle or an association; this is the significance of the hieroglyphical circle traced round the magus who is operating, and out of which he must not pass unless he wishes at the same moment to be stripped of all his power.”

 

 

This principal is pretty straight forward – Malcome X acted as an individual but he spoke in the name of all African Americans. He was thus able to conjure their fighting spirit into action. Gandhi acted as an individual but represented India (today he represents even more than India). The wonderful Annie Besant represented many things – all women, all Irish people, all people of goodwill, and Theosophical values are four examples. Blavatsky represented The Ancient Wisdom, or humankind’s refusal to stop believing in something more than matter. And so on.

What a person works, fights and lives for is his ‘circle,’ in magical terminology, “out of which he must not pass unless he wishes at the same moment to be stripped of all his power.” In other words, to stop representing something larger than your self is to act on behalf of one solitary, self-centred man, for his own gain. Thus you only gain the power of one isolated man.

 

When Gandhi spun and wove cloth, calling others to join him, he was conjuring the feeling of unity and self-love inside the Indian people. When Martin Luther King trod on the streets without violence, he was conjuring the goodwill of all Americans. The amount of people imitating each other in the same act shows the extent to which that one spirit was conjured.

 

In this way we can talk of conjuring spirits and inspiring qualities in people, as based upon the same principles. Potentially, we can use these principles of magic to better the world. One could enter into sympathy with a group, so that he becomes the group (i.e. a part of it), then draw them upwards into a state of enthusiasm. From this healthy state, possibilities multiply. The above examples did it and so have many others.

 

Sociology and magic are analogous because they share the same natural laws underneath the surface. Francis Bacon, another great magician of the Rosicrucian creed, said that analogies are not only “similitudes (as men of narrow observation may conceive them to be), but plainly the same footsteps of nature treading or printing upon different subjects and matters”. To be sure, one definition of magic is the Science of Analogies.

 

Alice A. Bailey, founder of World Goodwill and the Arcane School, said: “Every form is the result of thought and of sound. Every form veils or conceals an idea or concept. Every form, therefore, is but the symbol or attempted representation of an idea and this is true without exception on all the planes of the solar system, wherein forms are found whether created by God, man or deva.”

 

The great Patanjali, in his Raja Yoga Sutras, agrees: “The reading of symbols produces contact with the soul.” To be able to see all things as symbols of some hidden association is something magicians train themselves to do, to penetrate beneath the surface. Alice A. Bailey called this ‘spiritual reading’.

 

Using this rule, all a ritual magician’s tools are analogous to some quality inside him. The wand is his Will, the sword is his Knowledge, the cup is his mind, and so forth. He constructs them in such a way that by Pavlovian Conditioning and intense concentration, he will associate each tool with its correct quality. To construct his wand, for example, the magus would put himself through a great test of will power to acquire the materials to build it. Afterwards, merely touching it would bring up the association of triumph and purpose in that event, and recollect that strength from inside him.

 

In the same way that he projected his will into an object, the conjurer projects qualities into a symbol. Then, as long as the association is well established, what ever he does to the symbol has real consequences. Another social example is the Australian flag. A mere piece of coloured cloth causes emotional changes in people whenever they see it displayed. Even more so when they see it burned. Each flag is a different one, but they contain the same symbol, that of Australia. So, people see all of them as the same object. And when it burns, the patriotic onlooker actually feels as if something has been done to him. That’s magic, albeit diluted – like a voodoo doll.

 

Banishing demons or negative influences works in a similar way, according to most occult authorities. The demons need to be evoked, or projected into something, so that they are seen and trapped. From this vantage point, they can then be banished. Christ did it by sending the “Legion” of demons into a group of pigs, who then plunged off a cliff.

 

I once saw a self-help seminar on Chuck Norris’s TV show Walker Texas Ranger, where a muscle-bound man handcuffed both his own wrists; he said to the crowd, “These hand cuffs represent all my limitations, my doubts,” etc. Then he broke the chains using brute strength. Similar principle.

 

In Liber Null and Psychonaut, Peter J. Carrol (co-founder of Chaos Magic and the I.O.T.) tells of a time he attempted an exorcism:--

 

“In the flats where I was living at the time in the big city, there was a chap making a progressive descent into madness. Let us call him Ron. Most head doctors would have diagnosed him as schizophrenic. His behaviour was bizarre in the extreme. He heard voices continually and he imagined persecution from the most unlikely sources. One day he paid me a visit, drawn perhaps by rumours of my odd interests. He was dressed in perhaps five sets of clothes, starving hungry, and almost completely out of his mind. He had been camping out on a heath for some time to avoid the demons in his flat. Having made him as comfortable as possible I thought I should perhaps try and do anything I could to help.

 

“We went into a room I had prepared for various magical experiments and I applied the standard procedures of exorcism. Nothing would work. Ron became very defensive and just kept mumbling in a stream of dissociated nonsense. Nothing would make him manifest the demons he complained of, so that they could be banished. In exasperation I decided to be his demon. I advanced upon him snarling and cursing, menacing him with weapons and threats, throwing back at him all the stuff he had been complaining of. For a few minutes I became his paranoia. Clad in strange robes in a dark room full of burning sulphur, I held his soul at sword point and thoroughly evoked hell all about him. The effect was remarkable. He opened up and became completely lucid and reasonable, trying to talk his way out of the predicament, using perfect sense and logic with the correct emotional responses. Thereupon I turned the act off and got us both out of the choking chamber.

 

Ron was then normal for another twenty minutes during which time we tried to work out how he was going to get his life back together. Toward the end of this though he began to slip back into his insane mode, and by the time he suddenly decided to leave he was completely crazy again. It was my greatest regret that I didn’t have the facilities to detain him and try and do something more for him. As the witch doctors say, a man who gets sick in the head can be helped, but a man with a ‘bad soul,’ that is, a long-term head case, often proves intractable. I only saw Ron briefly once again after the psychiatrists had had their way with him, and he seemed a virtual cabbage. Let’s hope it was only sedatives.”

 

 

 

I cannot help but note how the principals of non-violent resistance are closely related to the principals of exorcism or banishment. Peter J. Carrol did not resist Ron’s negativity but affirmed it, became it. This is analogous to not resisting a strike, but turning the other cheek. The key here is the perception of unity – that neither person present is the enemy or demon.

 

Again, the same principle works out in daily life, only in a ‘diluted form’ (if I may use such an expression). I remember feeling depressed and hopeless then confiding in someone who was generally pessimistic. That someone basically said, “you’re right; there is no hope,” though in different words. In that moment, she was a mirror to my hopelessness, and when I looked in it, I saw the ‘demon’ that was on my back. In disgust I then found myself ‘exorcised’ and piping up, disagreeing with my friend. My true self underneath my mood did not believe that. My despair was apparently sucked out and in the vacuum my will came back.

 

When my friend and I became one in our distress, by imitating each other, we could look at ‘ourself’ and see the problem. In the end, we are only many metaphors for the same invisible life.

When people do resist, we usually take that as a lack of understanding – as in, “Take your rosy glasses off and shove them up your arse!” So, non-violent resistance is a way of drawing out the demon in others. Eye-for-an-eye strategy is a way of perpetuating the demon.

 

All this suggests a hidden genius within the New Testament, and a logical process to magical doctrine. I’ve always looked at people like Gandhi and Besant (and the others mentioned above, etc.) as unofficial scientists who have come upon a formula for changing the world. Let’s say, the problem or goal of the ‘experiment of life’ is to transcribe ideals of peace and unity into realities in the material world. Then, the scientist should theoretically be able to recreate the same conditions again at will.

To me, these correspondences spark up enthusiasm and the keenness to begin experimenting. On the other hand, sometimes I feel like that stupid mouse in the maze who takes the longest amount of time to find the way out.


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The Anatomy Of Peace > by Levin Diatschenko

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The Anatomy Of Peace

For the world citizen of today, perhaps the most pertinent question regarding the people of that world is: How to make the 'United Nations’ a reality? If a therapist can get groups of angry people to cease arguing and get along with each other, why not a group of Nations, religions or political parties? If there is a science to it then it can be done.

Looking back a little, we can find instances where some of humanity’s forerunners have succeeded in their own spheres at producing a peaceful unity. Assuming that their successes were based upon a deep understanding of nature, let us not be surprised if their methods turn out to be the same.
Here are some cases in point.

In 1884 the Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy wrote his book titled What I Believe. “In affirming my belief in Christ’s teaching,” he says about the book, “I could not help explaining why I do not believe, and consider as mistaken, the Church’s doctrine, which is usually called Christianity”. It was consequently met by barrages of criticism from every side of Russian and European society. The Church in Russia soon exercised its influence and had the book suppressed.

Oddly though, rebuffs against the book were freely published and distributed. There were no shortage of rebuffs, either. Neither Church or State approved of Tolstoy’s theories, but neither did the non-religious revolutionaries.

In his later work The Kingdom of God Is within You, Tolstoy took the argument back up in further detail in order to meet every criticism. In it he put forth the idea of “Non Resistance to Evil by Force”. He stated that within the story of the New Testament there is easily found a formula that, if followed, will bring about unity from separation, peace from war, or fellowship from enmity. Furthermore, this modus operandi apparently applies to humanity as a whole as well as to individuals alike. Tolstoy puts it simply here:

“The question amounts to this: In what way are we to decide men’s disputes, when some men consider evil what others consider good, and vice versa? And to reply that that is evil which I think evil, in spite of the fact that my opponent thinks it good, is not a solution of the difficulty. There can only be two solutions: either to find a real unquestionable criterion of what is evil or not to resist evil by force.

“The first has been tried ever since the beginning of historical times, and, as we know it has not hitherto led to any successful results.

“The second solution – not forcibly to resist what we consider evil until we have found a universal criterion – that is the solution given by Christ.”

Peace Tolstoy

The most obvious and widespread criticism was that the strategy is simply not practical and could not bring results. Tolstoy acknowledged this in the second book:

“[…] the principle of non-resistance to evil by force has been attacked by two opposing camps: the conservatives, because this principle would hinder their activity in resistance to evil as applied to the revolutionists, in persecution and punishment of them; the revolutionists, too, because this principle would hinder their resistance to evil as applied to the conservatives and the overthrowing of them.”

However, all this was before Gandhi.

Mohandas Gandhi, the Indian barrister, read The Kingdom of God is Within You while he was in South Africa in 1894, the year after it was suppressed in its native Russia. It left an “overwhelming” impression on Gandhi, as he said in his autobiography. “Before the independent thinking, profound morality, and truthfulness of this book, all the books given me by Mr. Coates seemed pale in significance,” he said. (Mr. Coates was a Quaker and friend of Gandhi’s.)

Gandhi wrote Tolstoy a letter and they both began a friendship that lasted until the Russian’s death. When Gandhi established a lodging house for families of the Independence movement, whose fathers and husbands were in British jails, Gandhi even called it ‘Tolstoy Farm’.

In 1906, Gandhi stepped into the spotlight of the world and became the spark that ignited a mere idealistic theory into a practical demonstration, on a scale that had never been done. Like a social scientist and self imposed guinea pig, the man we now know as the Mahatma (or ‘Great Soul’) put the theory of non-violence to the test and qualified it – defeating the British Empire and winning India its independence. Looking back, the modern world can no longer hold a sober argument that the strategy is ineffective. We must at least acknowledge that it can work – and with the contagious power to unify people -- as it once did under certain circumstances, in India.

Nevertheless, as B.P. Wadia, in his book The Gandhian Way, says: “What was obscured till Gandhi appeared on the scene and courageously proclaimed, to all and sundry, the mighty and majestic truth Ahimsa, Non-Violence, is now acknowledged by everyone […] as the real panacea for all human ills; but how many legislative and reform bodies are there which act upon that beneficent principle?”

The answer is hardly any. The reason may be that nobody is confident enough to try the strategy. It seems that successfully demonstrating it is not so easy. A deeper understanding of how and why it works, or what laws it is based on, is needed. Therefore, we must also acknowledge that the simplistic view of the strategy
as being mere ‘passivism’ or ‘non-participation’ is inadequate.

Peace Ghandi

“In making the British quit India,” says B.P. Wadia, “Gandhi made the people justly evaluate and appreciate [the British]. That single event in his life-drama reveals the strength of Hercules, the generosity of Hatim Tai. This hidden aspect of his ‘Quit India’ mantram remains mostly unrecognised.”

The strategy, which Gandhi called Satyaraha (or Truth-Force), is based upon a fundamental perception that Unity is a reality. Whereas passivism can be the refuge of cowards, Satyagraha takes well-cultivated courage to express that unity.

“For Gandhi,” says Oxford’s The Concise History of India, “the pursuit of satyagraha involved a range of behaviours that together would create an India, both of individuals and as a nation, capable of self-rule. Above all it involved settling disputes by seeking truths shared with an opponent whom one must always respect, even love.”

So, “The truth shall set you free” is by no means a strategy that is exclusive to Christian doctrine. But as Tolstoy pointed out, it is highlighted and emphasised through the story of Christ. Although Gandhi called it Satyagraha, it is also found in Hindu doctrine as Yama, or the five commandments, consisting of harmlessness, truth to all beings, non-stealing, continence and abstention from avarice.

Indian independence was not the first time the ‘New Testament Strategy’ has ever been effectively demonstrated. The example stands out because of its scale, and because Gandhi openly named it as non-violent resistance. But, across the ocean in England, before the Indian Independence movement had run its course, Charles Bradlaugh had used it too.

Charles Bradlaugh – known as “Our Charlie” by the workers of Northampton -- was an English politician and lawyer, renowned as a champion of Free-thought or Atheism. But his stance on religion has somewhat overshadowed his deep commitment to improving the conditions of the poor.

In the election of April1880, he ran for Member of Parliament for Northampton, as a Radical, amidst a bitter campaign wherein the Church, Tory’s and especially the Whigs, widely slandered him for his Atheist views. (Remember, this was at a time when Atheism was relatively new, and feared as a justification for immorality.)

Bradlaugh won easily. When he went to swear himself in, he claimed the right to ‘affirm’ instead of taking the religious Oath of Allegiance (with hand on the Bible), for obvious reasons. His request was spitefully denied, and so he offered to take the Oath after all, for the sake of the workers who voted him in. The House, however, denied that too. Thus, because he could not take the Oath, Bradlaugh’s right to take his seat was forfeited.

He took it anyway and was promptly arrested and imprisoned in the Clock Tower of the Houses of Parliament. A by-election was then declared for Bradlaugh’s seat.

This was not the end, however: ‘Our Charlie’ was re-elected with even more votes than before. The nature of the war was set: the House continued to refuse him the right to take either Affirmation or Oath, and Bradlaugh continued to take his seat anyway, on the grounds that the people of Northampton voted him in. He was regularly escorted from Parliament.

Bradlaugh was voted in four more times, always with an increased majority. He was even fined 1,500 pounds, in 1883, for taking his seat and voting illegally as a member.

Charles Bradlaugh being accosted by the English police

On the last time, however, crowds of workers gathered and surrounded the House, violently calling out their support for “Our Charlie”.

They had in previous months, formed into mobs and threatened Bradlaugh’s opponents with violence. But in these times, Bradlaugh himself rushed from his home to the rescue of his enemy, and chastised his frustrated supporters.

Earlier the day of the election, Bradlaugh gave his second, Annie Besant, an order: “The people know you better than they know anyone, save myself; whatever happens, mind, whatever happens, let them do no violence; I trust you to keep them quiet!”

But the crowd was angry. The man they had continually voted for was not deemed good enough for the authorities. Where was the democracy?

This time Bradlaugh refused to leave.

No less than four policemen were called in to wrestle him from the house. Although he struggled to remain, he did not harm or attack the officers. They, on the other hand, bruised him badly and tore his clothes, as well as putting him through great humiliation. When they were finally seen emerging from the door, the workers charged the gate with a force too large for the police to contain.
But Besant -- well known to the workers -- leapt in their way and implored that they stop.

Fortunately, they did. Even Bradlaugh himself nearly lost control, as Besant relates in her Autobiography. “I nearly did wrong at the door,” he admitted to Besant later. “I was very angry. I said to Inspector Denning, ‘I shall come again with force enough to overcome it.’ He said, ‘When?’. I said, ‘Within a minute if I raise my hand.’” But Bradlaugh overcame the rage inside him.

The aftermath was a barrage of criticism by the press, at the behaviour of Parliament. The so-called respectable government of England had inflicted violence on a man so obviously wanted by the voters, and so civil in his own deportment.

Because of the outrage, the next time Charles Bradlaugh entered parliament, he was not only allowed to take the Oath and his seat in Parliament, but he also established the Affirmation. He went on to promote home-rule in Ireland and in India. He was the first Freethinker in parliament. When he died, Bradlaugh’s funeral attracted thousands of mourners. The Mahatma Gandhi was one of them.

Notwithstanding what words they used to express what they stood for, Ghandi and Bradlaugh used the same strategy. And they both succeeded.

Both Gandhi and Bradlaugh refused to retaliate with violence, or to harm their opponents (whether in deeds or in words). On top of that, they both went out of their way to help their so-called enemies -- all this, even to the point of taking on suffering for themselves. Indeed, absorbing the violence so others did not seems part of the Strategy.

they called him Jesus

One might theorise that it is inevitable for those persons who are humanity’s foremost in both intelligence and strength of courage to perceive the same natural laws. Christ also taught a very similar strategy at the Sermon on the Mount: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” And later: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if you salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others?” And so forth.

In theory, the Strategy seems quite illogical. As Christ healed the ear of the soldier who came to seize Him, Christ chastised His disciple for cutting the ear; similarly, Bradlaugh too chastised his supporters for violently threatening his oppressors.

As Christ willingly went forth to the crucifixion – something he’d predicted many times – and sacrificed himself, so too did Gandhi enter on fasts to starve himself either until death or a cessation to India’s violence.

Another strange and interesting coincidence is that Christ declared that no man should take Oaths, for to swear allegiance to an exclusive group would compromise one’s allegiance to all of humanity. Charles Bradlaugh also refused the oath of Allegiance to the British Government – even if it was on the Bible!

Before continuing, note one more interesting coincidence: both Gandhi and Bradlaugh’s opponents were violent in their method, yet incongruously called themselves ‘Christians’. The Hindu and the Atheist did not call themselves Christians, yet they imitated Christ almost exactly.

Next let us take our discussion to Japan, and to the martial art called Aikido. The founder of this style of fighting was named Morihei Ueshiba, but to this day his followers refer to him as O Sensei, meaning ‘The Grand Teacher’.

If you try to push another man over, he will instinctually resist by pushing back. If you try to pull him over he will pull also, opposing you.

But if you push him, and he unexpectedly pulls, you will both topple.

In a nutshell, this is the philosophy of Aikido, which its founder called, “Love in action.” O Sensei (born in 1883) formed the art that specialised in redirecting – rather than resisting -- and using the opponent’s weight and force against them. The more force with which you attack an Aikido practitioner, the more the same force hurts you. It thus forces the attacker to ‘sympathise’.

O Sensei trained under many renowned masters throughout his life. Eight of his years were spent under the guidance of Deguchi Onisaburo, a master who advocated non-violent resistance and universal disarmament. He once said: “Armament and war are the means by which the landlords and capitalists make their profit, while the poor suffer.”

It rubbed off on O Sensei. His goal in life became clear. In his words it was, “To teach the real meaning of Budo: an end to all fighting and contention.” (Budo is a word that covers all the Japanese martial disciplines.)
In 1927, he left his master and began his new style in Tokyo. It attracted a huge following that included many high-ranking instructors. Some of them were so impressed that they sent their own students to O Sensei.

O Sensei founder of Aikido

 

Later, in 1942, O Sensei moved back to a farm in the country, saying that Budo and farming were one and the same. It was at this time that he first used the name Aikido. It is related about O Sensei, that at this time a high-ranking soldier in the Japanese army journeyed to find him, and upon seeing O Sensei, the young soldier demanded that he come back and serve in the war. It was a matter of patriotic duty, he said.
O Sensei refused.

Angry, the younger man drew his sword and attacked. O Sensei disarmed him without hurting him, then calmly tossed the sword away. The young man retrieved his sword and attacked again – once again, O Sensei disarmed him and tossed the sword. A third time the soldier attacked with the same result.

This time, the soldier became O Sensei’s disciple.

The similarities in strategy needn’t be pointed out. But there is a subtle relation that might be missed. Gandhi, when on trial, went on to “invite and cheerfully to submit to the highest penalty that can be inflicted upon me”.

Oxford’s The Concise History Of India relates:
“The judge, on his part, said that the charges carried a prison term of six years, but he added that if the government later saw fit to reduce the sentence, ‘no one would be better pleased than I’.

“Gandhi also used this trial to articulate in dramatic fashion central elements of his political style. Refusing to be placed in the powerless and humiliating position of the usual defendant, Gandhi defiantly pleaded guilty and even took upon himself responsibility for the acts of others. In the process he at once embraced, yet repudiated as incompatible with colonialism, British notions of ‘justice’. At the same time, by bringing suffering upon himself, he enhanced his saintly role as one who sacrifices for the good of all.”

Gandhi’s influence caused a “surprising amount of reasonableness, if not actual goodwill,” to pervade the dealings between the British and the Congress. This showed itself most visibly in jail, where “Congress leaders were accorded a special A-class accommodation that allowed them books, visitors, and food not permitted ordinary prisoners.”

Here, then, is the subtle relation: Gandhi refused to retaliate, and, consequently, he morally disarmed his prosecutors. O sensei refused to retaliate, and, he physically disarmed his opponent.
(Again, Christ agrees: “And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.”)

England gave in and left India; the House accepted Bradlaugh; O Sensei’s attacker became his disciple.

Of course, Rome became the centre of Christianity.

Here is one last similarity between all parties: Jesus the carpenter’s son was later named ‘The Christ,’ or ‘anointed.’ Bradlaugh became ‘Our Charlie’. Mohandas Gandhi became ‘The Mahatma’ Gandhi. Morihei Ueshiba is now called ‘O Sensei’.

The names, of course, are not part of the Strategy, as they were not self-given. But they are a result of the Strategy. In particular they are the result of the application of symbols, or representation. Mohandas K. Gandhi was one Indian citizen who, in the eyes of the world, only represented himself and his immediate family. But, later he began – through his words and actions – to represent India. There are parallels in all the above examples, the separated individuals giving way to the representations of unity. This precipitates as a
new name to indicate the symbolically new person.

If you represent only your immediate family, you shall be remembered by your immediate family when you die. The rest of the world will forget you in the folds of history. But, if you represent a nation then a nation will remember you. Mohandas Gandhi died; the Mahatma lives on. Jesus died on the cross; Christ lived on. Immortality is dependent on this law of symbols. One cannot think about Che Guevara and not Socialism, of which he is a symbol. Likewise, Hitler is synonymous with Nazi philosophy.

The implications are three: From a practical point of view, Christ and his teachings have been tested and qualified as pertinent, not outdated or irrelevant; similarly, the other major religions and atheism, have equally been qualified; lastly, the truly sincere members of any of the above ways are in actuality following the same way.

In other words: the true separator of humanity (and consequently the cause of war and oppression) is language. A church-goer would do well to ask himself: “Am I converting people to a way or a word?” A hater of the church might do well to ask: “Am I an enemy of the way of Christ, or of those who clothe themselves in Christian terminology?” It is a question of the baby and the bath water.

Ghandi puppet at peaceful protest 2005

This tool of ours called language has drawn the attention of humanity away from truth (and each other) for so long, it is perhaps our greatest enemy. Like the Sabbath had, words were created to serve Man, but have ended up ruling him. Today, there seems to be a rush to convert all the Wisdom of the Ancients out of mystic terminology and into the language of physics – as if the modern clinical labels are allowed and the more poetic images of the past forbidden. Both are clothing the same truth.

Shakespeare once pointed out that even the Devil can quote scripture to justify his own purposes. If you read the bible, it is important, is it not, to pay more attention to what Christ did than what he said? For example, he said: “I bring not peace but a sword!” Out of context this could mean much mischief. But Christ never once took up a sword against any person in the literal sense.

The fact that we have a well established Left wing and Right wing in politics is the result of following the ‘Eye-for-eye’ strategy, so-called in the Old Testament. In its turn, Eye-for-eye is the result of the perception of duality. The Left and the Right define each other and thus strengthen each other. They also force us into an ‘either/or’ mentality wherein we must choose between only two options. The same has occurred in the argument of either evolution or creation, either science or religion. The reality is that there are not only two options. Most thinking people have beliefs that include some Left ideals and some Right. Many socialists are spiritual, for example, and have family values. Many conservative people are atheist. Also, organizations like the Rosicrucians, Freemasons and Theosophists have for centuries affirmed a belief in both science and religion as two pillars holding up the same temple.

Following the Eye-for-eye strategy is instinctual and takes little will power. On the contrary, if someone slanders you or attacks you, it takes much will power to resist retaliating. Herein lies the difficulty of the ‘turn the other cheek’ strategy: it needs persons of unshakable character in order to even begin its application. Moreover, it is not a mere matter of resisting retaliation. The aspiring Gandhian must go one step further – while the opponent pushes, you actively pull; when they take your cloak, give them also your coat; when they state your guilt, insist on the highest penalty. It is only after the great sacrifice that victory comes, as symbolised in Christ’s victory over death.

If one tries to push his beliefs on others, the others will (instinctively) resist and push back. This kind of pushy preaching is, in itself, Old Testament strategy. But, if one listens to others and takes on their beliefs, acknowledges the value, the others will in turn give back the same respect. This results in realised unity.


If we, the world’s young at heart, are finding it difficult, say, to get corporations, governments and apathetic citizens to heed our warnings and take our views into account, then this is due to a lack of understanding on our part of the laws of force direction. If there is a reason for the accomplishments of the abovementioned forerunners then surely the reason can be learned, formulated and applied. This is our task. Let us begin.



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In The Light Of Reason

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In The Light Of ReasonWriting as a religious ritual. From the Heart yet in the light of Reason. by Levin Daitschenko
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Neversleep illustration 8

Neversleep illustration 8Illustration by Levin Diatschenko for 'The Man Who Never Sleeps' ebook.
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The Man Who Never Sleeps: Part II - Chaz's Manuscript - chapter 5

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eyeless p2 7 Visiting the human world became a regular pastime. I ventured there approximately once every two months. It was a danger sport to me, like rock climbing or bunji jumping to you humans; and I was getting a taste for it. At first I went only with Spaper, but eventually I ventured there alone. I explored the city, or I would dally with our group of human friends. Spaper and I constantly sought out new experiences worthy of our enthusiasm. We went to concerts of many kinds --- orchestras, folk concerts, punk rock, hip-hop, disc jockeys, opera and ballet. We went to see movies, football matches, boxing matches and races of all sorts…until we needed to be involved in the action. Then we took up sports, the first being boxing. I was against it but Spaper came in shadowboxing one morning, shouting, “I'm young, I'm pretty…” etc., and he managed, as usual, to persuade me. So I lost my fear of humans as I became accustomed to being in the ring, out-boxing them at least as often as they did me. My body tightened up and I felt powerful. It was at the end of a training session that I felt complete and satisfied. My arms too tired to lift and my legs shaking from being used to their limit -- like when you take a sports car to its maximum speed. Boxing whet our appetites for all combat sports. Next came kung fu, kickboxing, shoot-fighting and wrestling. We even took dancing lessons. Spaper was particularly good at the tango. There was a tradition at the building where we `lived' whilst among the humans. The tenants often sat on the front steps of an afternoon or weekend, and smoked cigarettes or drank tea together, watching the world go by. I enjoyed that very much. I became acquainted with myriad personalities there. There was Gamble, of course. All he ever talked about was striking it rich. He had taken loans out from the banks and bought thousands of dollars worth of shares in various companies. He did not, however, have any idea of where to put his money --- he only knew that he wanted to strike it rich. He was constantly on marijuana, and was always losing money on the pokies. When he wasn't working or gambling, he was at home playing his Sony Playstation. There was Wazza the football fanatic. He would watch the game religiously and in the off-season he could not contain his boredom. There was another gentleman named “Shady” Dave, who was everyone's drug dealer. He didn't say much but was always playing Gamble's Sony. There was Wazza's girlfriend Cindy, who wore make-up abundantly no matter what the day or occasion. And also living in the building was old Abraham, the South American immigrant whose guitar we heard almost daily around the building as he crooned out his heavy-hearted Argentinean tangos. He had a three-piece band that played regularly at Spaper's and my favourite café/bar, where Celeste the waitress worked. The piece that stuck in my memory is the popular folk song, “Quizas, Quizas, Quizas.” There were others who visited intermittently, but they were not as close in the circle. These were the types of humans that Spaper and I consorted with in those days. Sometimes Celeste walked by the building and blushed when Spaper said hello. Everyone would take on the tone of an expert and give Spaper advice --- “You better make a move soon, Johno, or she'll find another bloke. That's what women are like, Johno. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about.” One aspect that I couldn't help notice about the humans was the surprising number of drug addicts. I think I can say that eighty percent of working-class males were addicted to marijuana. But none of them considered themselves addicts, because marijuana was accepted as a drug in the same family as, say, tea or coffee. The question “do you smoke up?” was like asking “do you like anchovies?” I sometimes wondered about the psychological implications of such widespread use.  Eyeless One afternoon, as I was exploring the streets, I walked past the gate of a suburban yard. I heard the growling of a dog and I turned to look. A large dog was scrambling towards me from within the yard, its beady eyes concentrated on me. First I froze with fear thinking, “This is it! My death! I should never have crossed the line!” But I suddenly regained control, spun on my heels and ran. I bolted as quickly as I was able but the dog was on my heels, snapping its jaw, and would inevitably overtake me. I glanced back as the beast snapped at me. Then I looked forward again -- and gasped as I saw that I was about to run into a light pole. All of a sudden the pole was gone and I heard a `Bang!' Looking around, I saw that the pole was behind me and that the dog was sprawled out behind it --- unconscious. The noise was that of the dog colliding with the pole. I had, seemingly, run right through the pole! After touching and pushing the pole as a test, I stood baffled. Realising that the owner of the dog might appear at any second, I fled the scene. Neversleep illustration 7 At my first opportunity, I took the matter up with Spaper. “I have no idea, chief. No idea at all,” he said looking concerned. We were at his city home on the top floor of a high-rise building. He was packing a bong. “But you do believe me?” I asked. “Yes I do,” he said. “You see, a similar thing happened to me. When I first went down there.” I began pacing. “Gamble, Wazza and I went out one night to a concert,” Spaper started. “We were all dreadfully drunk, and we'd also taken drugs. Ecstasy or Speed --- one of those drugs the humans are always taking --- I can't remember names. Anyway, we moshed in the crowd and sweated like pigs. Eventually it was too hot and I was exhausted. So I pushed my way out of the crowd and bought a beer. “Well, chief, I went to a table, drank my beer and watched the humans. I put the beer down and had been standing there a while, and then, when I went to pick the bottle up again, it seemed as though my hand went straight through it. I tried again and again with the same result! Of course I was confused and I went to sit down, but I fell through the stool!” My nervous habit must have rubbed off on Spaper because he got up and paced as well. We kept passing each other in the middle. “What happened?” I asked. “I became frantic! But when I got up, everything went back to normal. I unintentionally knocked the bottle off the table and I fell over the stool! After that I assumed that it was just the drugs. But now it's happened to you.” “Damnedest thing!” “Damnedest thing.” eyeless p2 8 I did not venture amongst the working class again for six months. Consequently, I did not see John Spaper either. Instead, I spent my time attending to business matters. Business had changed drastically in a short time, and I had a lot of work to do to keep up with what was going on in the financial world. Nate Rutter was a great help in that area and he helped me all he could. The problem was that because of things like the IT revolution among humans, there were millionaire and billionaire humans popping up all over the place. Our people, La Peu, began worrying that we'd soon have to deal with everyone on equal terms, and eventually we'd lose our silent hold on the world. Think of the largest companies in the world. Can you name the owners? In our day you couldn't --- not for the vast majority. Some anonymous fellow owned Coke. Another anonymous fellow owned Nike. Buggered if anybody knew who owned Toyota. Forget about oil companies, too, it's all anonymous. This is the mark of La Peu: anonymity. But times began to change and our empire was shrinking. Names were popping up here and there for the public's cold eye to view. Any company you can put an owner's name to, you see, is human owned. Then came a very worrisome problem: various people amongst La Peu would suddenly go missing. Some of us went to visit the homes of associates only to find that what was once their home was now a cluster of office blocks, used and owned by humans. Then we'd find out that some human tycoon now owned everything that our acquaintance previously owned -- companies and capital. There was no take-over, no selling and buying -- the human would just suddenly own it as if he always had. Our missing acquaintance would be gone with everything they ever owned and it would be as if they never existed in the first place. This happened to more and more of us, and drastic action was called for. We considered warfare against the humans. We figured that we certainly had the technology to prevail. What we weren't sure of any more was whether or not we were still unknown to the humans, considering that they were apparently invading us. Neversleep illustration 8 As before, people began to contact me and ask where John Spaper was. Nobody had seen him and there was fear that he might have disappeared off the face of the Earth like the others. So I sought after him at his place. He was absent but his home was all in order, so I knew he had not followed the fate of the others. He was most probably down amongst the humans. That annoyed me. How could he be there at a time like this! I was at Nate Rutters' place one night having a drink and talking strategy, when it happened to him in front of my eyes. I glanced out the window for a moment, and when I looked back the whole room seemed to be full of ghosts. They were wearing suits and sitting at ghost-desks, typing on ghost-computers. I looked through them and at Nate who stood on the opposite side of the room. He was as dumbfounded as I was. We both made for his teleporter and escaped to my place. Once there, we blocked off access from his home. His skin went yellow with worry. I sat him down and told him he was safe. But even as I spoke, he faded and became transparent, like the ghosts. Then he disappeared. We had owned many companies together, and I found out that I was now partners' with some human stranger. As Nate Rutter faded into nothing, the “ghosts” we saw became as real as rock! This was too much. A group of people gathered at my home shouting over each other's voices about war and fighting back and even releasing an incurable disease amongst the humans. I could no longer take all that commotion so I left on my own to Spaper's place via teleporter. I was sure he'd know something about all this. Why hasn't he shown his face? I thought. Spaper wasn't there. The place was a pigsty. Knowing where he'd be, I went straight for the teleporter. I appeared in the dark, then I realised that I was under the white sheet that we always put over the receiving teleporter, in the flat. I threw it off and looked around. Spaper wasn't there so I went to Gamble's unit. “How are ya, Chazza! Johno hasn't been round for a while,” he said. Where could he be? I thought. After checking the local pub, I began walking the streets helplessly. I was at a loss. Then I kicked myself upon realising that if he were among the humans, he'd be at the café on the waterfront -- staring at that waitress. I found him there with his head on a table, a coffee in front of him and a cigar in his fingers. The café was almost empty. The bartender and waitress (Celeste) on duty were leaning against the counter in conversation. “Spaper?” I said. He picked his head up and looked at me. He had a week's growth on his chin, and half open marijuana-eyes. “Chaz! You're still…” he stopped himself. “Still what?” I prodded him. “Still…here, chief.” “So you do know what's going on?” “Everything's vanishing, my friend.” He sounded distant. “You've got to come back home! They're going to attack the humans. We're not safe down here!” His red eyes widened a little. “What are you talking about?” he said. “They are taking action.” “What `they'? Are you delirious, Chaz?” “Pull yourself together, man! You've got to come back with me. Everybody is looking for you!” “We're the only ones, Chaz. There's nobody else. It's us against the world.” I stood up. “I'm going back now. Come on!” I said. “Don't go, Chaz. It'll happen to you too and then I'll be alone. We're safe down here.” But I left him. When I teleported back to my own home, I got the fright of my life. My home was gone too. There were humans in suits all over the room, sitting at desks and walking around. The only difference from Nate's place was that here, they weren't ghosts; they were already as solid as I was. I didn't understand why, but the teleporter was still there so I hopped back onto it. A human came and stood in front of me. “What are you doing?” he asked. I quickly pressed the button that would take me away to safety. But it didn't work! I pressed it again and again. “What are you doing you stupid idiot!” snapped the human. Two more humans came and soon the whole room stopped what they were doing to stare at me. I kept frantically pressing the button but nothing happened; for some reason the teleporter was only making queer noises and spitting paper out of its side. “Get off! Get off of it!” the humans kept yelling. “Not bloody likely!” said I. An older human entered the room and approached. He must have been important because everyone in the room followed him with their eyes. “What the bloody hell is going on?” he demanded. “This bloke keeps photocopying his arse!” answered the first human. The important man picked up a piece of paper from the teleporter. It certainly did seem to have the impression of my buttocks on it. He narrowed his eyes and turned them on me. “Get the hell off of the photocopier,” he said. “What's your name?” For a second I considered my options…then I charged through the group and ran for the lift. I noticed that there was a staircase next to the lift now, so I went for that. I flew down four steps at a time, and after I'd charged down three floors I stopped to catch my breath. I noticed that nobody had followed me so I went to a lift and rode down the rest of the way. In the lift I realised that there would most likely be security waiting downstairs. I'll just have to dodge them, I thought. What else can I do? I positioned myself with my foot against the back wall of the lift, so that I could launch myself with power the second the door opened. Just as I'd thought, two large security guards came at me as soon as I stepped out. I fled as fast as I could, but a third guard manoeuvred himself to cut me off. He threw himself at me with his outstretched ape arms before I could turn or dodge --- And he went right through me and crashed into a pot plant. Because I expected to be tackled, I too lost my balance and toppled over. We all hesitated, looking at each other for a second, and then I got up and passed through the closed glass doors. “I'm going to disappear like Nate Rutter!” I cried to myself, sprinting down the street. “This is the end! Damn the human race!” Then I collided with a light pole. By the time I made it back to Spaper the sun was on its way down. He was slumped over his table in a cloud of cigar smoke -- the exact same spot as when I left him. “You've got a lump on your head,” he said, looking up. I sat down feeling rather dizzy from the collision. “It's all gone,” I said. “Told you.” “Do shut up.” Spaper was drinking scotch. There were three other empty glasses on the table. Celeste came over to serve me and I ordered myself a double scotch with ice. Spaper did not even look up and all the while she shot worried glances at him. Does he not like me anymore? she must have been thinking. We remained silent. When Celeste returned with drinks she said, “Are you alright?” to Spaper. “I'm fine,” he said, still without looking at her. She went away wounded and we continued to sit in silence. Finally, after finishing our drinks, Spaper stood on shaky legs and said, “Come on.” We leaned on each other and sauntered back to our unit. Old Abraham and Gamble were sitting on the steps when we arrived. Gamble was drinking coffee as Abraham plucked and strummed his guitar. We sat with them and listened in silence, while Abraham's defiant notes floated on into the grey, soulless city. to be continued...  Eyeless To be notified when the next chapter of The Man Who Never Sleeps is published on Undergrowth.org sign up for the Neversleep email list here.
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The Anatomy Of Peace > by Levin Diatschenko

The Anatomy Of Peace The Anatomy Of Peace by Levin Diatschenko For the world citizen of today, perhaps the most pertinent question regarding the people of that world is: How to make the 'United Nations' a reality? If a therapist can get groups of angry people to cease arguing and get along with each other, why not a group of Nations, religions or political parties? If there is a science to it then it can be done. Looking back a little, we can find instances where some of humanity's forerunners have succeeded in their own spheres at producing a peaceful unity. Assuming that their successes were based upon a deep understanding of nature, let us not be surprised if their methods turn out to be the same. Here are some cases in point. In 1884 the Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy wrote his book titled What I Believe. “In affirming my belief in Christ's teaching,” he says about the book, “I could not help explaining why I do not believe, and consider as mistaken, the Church's doctrine, which is usually called Christianity”. It was consequently met by barrages of criticism from every side of Russian and European society. The Church in Russia soon exercised its influence and had the book suppressed. Oddly though, rebuffs against the book were freely published and distributed. There were no shortage of rebuffs, either. Neither Church or State approved of Tolstoy's theories, but neither did the non-religious revolutionaries. In his later work The Kingdom of God Is within You, Tolstoy took the argument back up in further detail in order to meet every criticism. In it he put forth the idea of “Non Resistance to Evil by Force”. He stated that within the story of the New Testament there is easily found a formula that, if followed, will bring about unity from separation, peace from war, or fellowship from enmity. Furthermore, this modus operandi apparently applies to humanity as a whole as well as to individuals alike. Tolstoy puts it simply here: “The question amounts to this: In what way are we to decide men's disputes, when some men consider evil what others consider good, and vice versa? And to reply that that is evil which I think evil, in spite of the fact that my opponent thinks it good, is not a solution of the difficulty. There can only be two solutions: either to find a real unquestionable criterion of what is evil or not to resist evil by force. “The first has been tried ever since the beginning of historical times, and, as we know it has not hitherto led to any successful results. “The second solution --- not forcibly to resist what we consider evil until we have found a universal criterion --- that is the solution given by Christ.” Peace Tolstoy The most obvious and widespread criticism was that the strategy is simply not practical and could not bring results. Tolstoy acknowledged this in the second book: “[…] the principle of non-resistance to evil by force has been attacked by two opposing camps: the conservatives, because this principle would hinder their activity in resistance to evil as applied to the revolutionists, in persecution and punishment of them; the revolutionists, too, because this principle would hinder their resistance to evil as applied to the conservatives and the overthrowing of them.” However, all this was before Gandhi. Mohandas Gandhi, the Indian barrister, read The Kingdom of God is Within You while he was in South Africa in 1894, the year after it was suppressed in its native Russia. It left an “overwhelming” impression on Gandhi, as he said in his autobiography. “Before the independent thinking, profound morality, and truthfulness of this book, all the books given me by Mr. Coates seemed pale in significance,” he said. (Mr. Coates was a Quaker and friend of Gandhi's.) Gandhi wrote Tolstoy a letter and they both began a friendship that lasted until the Russian's death. When Gandhi established a lodging house for families of the Independence movement, whose fathers and husbands were in British jails, Gandhi even called it `Tolstoy Farm'. In 1906, Gandhi stepped into the spotlight of the world and became the spark that ignited a mere idealistic theory into a practical demonstration, on a scale that had never been done. Like a social scientist and self imposed guinea pig, the man we now know as the Mahatma (or `Great Soul') put the theory of non-violence to the test and qualified it --- defeating the British Empire and winning India its independence. Looking back, the modern world can no longer hold a sober argument that the strategy is ineffective. We must at least acknowledge that it can work --- and with the contagious power to unify people -- as it once did under certain circumstances, in India. Nevertheless, as B.P. Wadia, in his book The Gandhian Way, says: “What was obscured till Gandhi appeared on the scene and courageously proclaimed, to all and sundry, the mighty and majestic truth Ahimsa, Non-Violence, is now acknowledged by everyone […] as the real panacea for all human ills; but how many legislative and reform bodies are there which act upon that beneficent principle?” The answer is hardly any. The reason may be that nobody is confident enough to try the strategy. It seems that successfully demonstrating it is not so easy. A deeper understanding of how and why it works, or what laws it is based on, is needed. Therefore, we must also acknowledge that the simplistic view of the strategy as being mere `passivism' or `non-participation' is inadequate. Peace Ghandi “In making the British quit India,” says B.P. Wadia, “Gandhi made the people justly evaluate and appreciate [the British]. That single event in his life-drama reveals the strength of Hercules, the generosity of Hatim Tai. This hidden aspect of his `Quit India' mantram remains mostly unrecognised.” The strategy, which Gandhi called Satyaraha (or Truth-Force), is based upon a fundamental perception that Unity is a reality. Whereas passivism can be the refuge of cowards, Satyagraha takes well-cultivated courage to express that unity. “For Gandhi,” says Oxford's The Concise History of India, “the pursuit of satyagraha involved a range of behaviours that together would create an India, both of individuals and as a nation, capable of self-rule. Above all it involved settling disputes by seeking truths shared with an opponent whom one must always respect, even love.” So, “The truth shall set you free” is by no means a strategy that is exclusive to Christian doctrine. But as Tolstoy pointed out, it is highlighted and emphasised through the story of Christ. Although Gandhi called it Satyagraha, it is also found in Hindu doctrine as Yama, or the five commandments, consisting of harmlessness, truth to all beings, non-stealing, continence and abstention from avarice. Indian independence was not the first time the `New Testament Strategy' has ever been effectively demonstrated. The example stands out because of its scale, and because Gandhi openly named it as non-violent resistance. But, across the ocean in England, before the Indian Independence movement had run its course, Charles Bradlaugh had used it too. Charles Bradlaugh --- known as “Our Charlie” by the workers of Northampton -- was an English politician and lawyer, renowned as a champion of Free-thought or Atheism. But his stance on religion has somewhat overshadowed his deep commitment to improving the conditions of the poor. In the election of April1880, he ran for Member of Parliament for Northampton, as a Radical, amidst a bitter campaign wherein the Church, Tory's and especially the Whigs, widely slandered him for his Atheist views. (Remember, this was at a time when Atheism was relatively new, and feared as a justification for immorality.) Bradlaugh won easily. When he went to swear himself in, he claimed the right to `affirm' instead of taking the religious Oath of Allegiance (with hand on the Bible), for obvious reasons. His request was spitefully denied, and so he offered to take the Oath after all, for the sake of the workers who voted him in. The House, however, denied that too. Thus, because he could not take the Oath, Bradlaugh's right to take his seat was forfeited. He took it anyway and was promptly arrested and imprisoned in the Clock Tower of the Houses of Parliament. A by-election was then declared for Bradlaugh's seat. This was not the end, however: `Our Charlie' was re-elected with even more votes than before. The nature of the war was set: the House continued to refuse him the right to take either Affirmation or Oath, and Bradlaugh continued to take his seat anyway, on the grounds that the people of Northampton voted him in. He was regularly escorted from Parliament. Bradlaugh was voted in four more times, always with an increased majority. He was even fined 1,500 pounds, in 1883, for taking his seat and voting illegally as a member. On the last time, however, crowds of workers gathered and surrounded the House, violently calling out their support for “Our Charlie”. They had in previous months, formed into mobs and threatened Bradlaugh's opponents with violence. But in these times, Bradlaugh himself rushed from his home to the rescue of his enemy, and chastised his frustrated supporters. Earlier the day of the election, Bradlaugh gave his second, Annie Besant, an order: “The people know you better than they know anyone, save myself; whatever happens, mind, whatever happens, let them do no violence; I trust you to keep them quiet!” But the crowd was angry. The man they had continually voted for was not deemed good enough for the authorities. Where was the democracy? This time Bradlaugh refused to leave. No less than four policemen were called in to wrestle him from the house. Although he struggled to remain, he did not harm or attack the officers. They, on the other hand, bruised him badly and tore his clothes, as well as putting him through great humiliation. When they were finally seen emerging from the door, the workers charged the gate with a force too large for the police to contain. But Besant -- well known to the workers -- leapt in their way and implored that they stop. Fortunately, they did. Even Bradlaugh himself nearly lost control, as Besant relates in her Autobiography. “I nearly did wrong at the door,” he admitted to Besant later. “I was very angry. I said to Inspector Denning, `I shall come again with force enough to overcome it.' He said, `When?'. I said, `Within a minute if I raise my hand.'” But Bradlaugh overcame the rage inside him. The aftermath was a barrage of criticism by the press, at the behaviour of Parliament. The so-called respectable government of England had inflicted violence on a man so obviously wanted by the voters, and so civil in his own deportment. Because of the outrage, the next time Charles Bradlaugh entered parliament, he was not only allowed to take the Oath and his seat in Parliament, but he also established the Affirmation. He went on to promote home-rule in Ireland and in India. He was the first Freethinker in parliament. When he died, Bradlaugh's funeral attracted thousands of mourners. The Mahatma Gandhi was one of them. Notwithstanding what words they used to express what they stood for, Ghandi and Bradlaugh used the same strategy. And they both succeeded. Both Gandhi and Bradlaugh refused to retaliate with violence, or to harm their opponents (whether in deeds or in words). On top of that, they both went out of their way to help their so-called enemies -- all this, even to the point of taking on suffering for themselves. Indeed, absorbing the violence so others did not seems part of the Strategy. One might theorise that it is inevitable for those persons who are humanity's foremost in both intelligence and strength of courage to perceive the same natural laws. Christ also taught a very similar strategy at the Sermon on the Mount: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” And later: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if you salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others?” And so forth. In theory, the Strategy seems quite illogical. As Christ healed the ear of the soldier who came to seize Him, Christ chastised His disciple for cutting the ear; similarly, Bradlaugh too chastised his supporters for violently threatening his oppressors. As Christ willingly went forth to the crucifixion --- something he'd predicted many times --- and sacrificed himself, so too did Gandhi enter on fasts to starve himself either until death or a cessation to India's violence. Another strange and interesting coincidence is that Christ declared that no man should take Oaths, for to swear allegiance to an exclusive group would compromise one's allegiance to all of humanity. Charles Bradlaugh also refused the oath of Allegiance to the British Government --- even if it was on the Bible! Before continuing, note one more interesting coincidence: both Gandhi and Bradlaugh's opponents were violent in their method, yet incongruously called themselves `Christians'. The Hindu and the Atheist did not call themselves Christians, yet they imitated Christ almost exactly. Next let us take our discussion to Japan, and to the martial art called Aikido. The founder of this style of fighting was named Morihei Ueshiba, but to this day his followers refer to him as O Sensei, meaning `The Grand Teacher'. If you try to push another man over, he will instinctually resist by pushing back. If you try to pull him over he will pull also, opposing you. But if you push him, and he unexpectedly pulls, you will both topple. In a nutshell, this is the philosophy of Aikido, which its founder called, “Love in action.” O Sensei (born in 1883) formed the art that specialised in redirecting --- rather than resisting -- and using the opponent's weight and force against them. The more force with which you attack an Aikido practitioner, the more the same force hurts you. It thus forces the attacker to `sympathise'. O Sensei trained under many renowned masters throughout his life. Eight of his years were spent under the guidance of Deguchi Onisaburo, a master who advocated non-violent resistance and universal disarmament. He once said: “Armament and war are the means by which the landlords and capitalists make their profit, while the poor suffer.” It rubbed off on O Sensei. His goal in life became clear. In his words it was, “To teach the real meaning of Budo: an end to all fighting and contention.” (Budo is a word that covers all the Japanese martial disciplines.) In 1927, he left his master and began his new style in Tokyo. It attracted a huge following that included many high-ranking instructors. Some of them were so impressed that they sent their own students to O Sensei. Later, in 1942, O Sensei moved back to a farm in the country, saying that Budo and farming were one and the same. It was at this time that he first used the name Aikido. It is related about O Sensei, that at this time a high-ranking soldier in the Japanese army journeyed to find him, and upon seeing O Sensei, the young soldier demanded that he come back and serve in the war. It was a matter of patriotic duty, he said. O Sensei refused. Angry, the younger man drew his sword and attacked. O Sensei disarmed him without hurting him, then calmly tossed the sword away. The young man retrieved his sword and attacked again --- once again, O Sensei disarmed him and tossed the sword. A third time the soldier attacked with the same result. This time, the soldier became O Sensei's disciple. The similarities in strategy needn't be pointed out. But there is a subtle relation that might be missed. Gandhi, when on trial, went on to “invite and cheerfully to submit to the highest penalty that can be inflicted upon me”. Oxford's The Concise History Of India relates: “The judge, on his part, said that the charges carried a prison term of six years, but he added that if the government later saw fit to reduce the sentence, `no one would be better pleased than I'. “Gandhi also used this trial to articulate in dramatic fashion central elements of his political style. Refusing to be placed in the powerless and humiliating position of the usual defendant, Gandhi defiantly pleaded guilty and even took upon himself responsibility for the acts of others. In the process he at once embraced, yet repudiated as incompatible with colonialism, British notions of `justice'. At the same time, by bringing suffering upon himself, he enhanced his saintly role as one who sacrifices for the good of all.” Gandhi's influence caused a “surprising amount of reasonableness, if not actual goodwill,” to pervade the dealings between the British and the Congress. This showed itself most visibly in jail, where “Congress leaders were accorded a special A-class accommodation that allowed them books, visitors, and food not permitted ordinary prisoners.” Here, then, is the subtle relation: Gandhi refused to retaliate, and, consequently, he morally disarmed his prosecutors. O sensei refused to retaliate, and, he physically disarmed his opponent. (Again, Christ agrees: “And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.”) England gave in and left India; the House accepted Bradlaugh; O Sensei's attacker became his disciple. Of course, Rome became the centre of Christianity. Here is one last similarity between all parties: Jesus the carpenter's son was later named `The Christ,' or `anointed.' Bradlaugh became `Our Charlie'. Mohandas Gandhi became `The Mahatma' Gandhi. Morihei Ueshiba is now called `O Sensei'. The names, of course, are not part of the Strategy, as they were not self-given. But they are a result of the Strategy. In particular they are the result of the application of symbols, or representation. Mohandas K. Gandhi was one Indian citizen who, in the eyes of the world, only represented himself and his immediate family. But, later he began --- through his words and actions --- to represent India. There are parallels in all the above examples, the separated individuals giving way to the representations of unity. This precipitates as a new name to indicate the symbolically new person. If you represent only your immediate family, you shall be remembered by your immediate family when you die. The rest of the world will forget you in the folds of history. But, if you represent a nation then a nation will remember you. Mohandas Gandhi died; the Mahatma lives on. Jesus died on the cross; Christ lived on. Immortality is dependent on this law of symbols. One cannot think about Che Guevara and not Socialism, of which he is a symbol. Likewise, Hitler is synonymous with Nazi philosophy. The implications are three: From a practical point of view, Christ and his teachings have been tested and qualified as pertinent, not outdated or irrelevant; similarly, the other major religions and atheism, have equally been qualified; lastly, the truly sincere members of any of the above ways are in actuality following the same way. In other words: the true separator of humanity (and consequently the cause of war and oppression) is language. A church-goer would do well to ask himself: “Am I converting people to a way or a word?” A hater of the church might do well to ask: “Am I an enemy of the way of Christ, or of those who clothe themselves in Christian terminology?” It is a question of the baby and the bath water. This tool of ours called language has drawn the attention of humanity away from truth (and each other) for so long, it is perhaps our greatest enemy. Like the Sabbath had, words were created to serve Man, but have ended up ruling him. Today, there seems to be a rush to convert all the Wisdom of the Ancients out of mystic terminology and into the language of physics --- as if the modern clinical labels are allowed and the more poetic images of the past forbidden. Both are clothing the same truth. Shakespeare once pointed out that even the Devil can quote scripture to justify his own purposes. If you read the bible, it is important, is it not, to pay more attention to what Christ did than what he said? For example, he said: “I bring not peace but a sword!” Out of context this could mean much mischief. But Christ never once took up a sword against any person in the literal sense. The fact that we have a well established Left wing and Right wing in politics is the result of following the `Eye-for-eye' strategy, so-called in the Old Testament. In its turn, Eye-for-eye is the result of the perception of duality. The Left and the Right define each other and thus strengthen each other. They also force us into an `either/or' mentality wherein we must choose between only two options. The same has occurred in the argument of either evolution or creation, either science or religion. The reality is that there are not only two options. Most thinking people have beliefs that include some Left ideals and some Right. Many socialists are spiritual, for example, and have family values. Many conservative people are atheist. Also, organizations like the Rosicrucians, Freemasons and Theosophists have for centuries affirmed a belief in both science and religion as two pillars holding up the same temple. Following the Eye-for-eye strategy is instinctual and takes little will power. On the contrary, if someone slanders you or attacks you, it takes much will power to resist retaliating. Herein lies the difficulty of the `turn the other cheek' strategy: it needs persons of unshakable character in order to even begin its application. Moreover, it is not a mere matter of resisting retaliation. The aspiring Gandhian must go one step further --- while the opponent pushes, you actively pull; when they take your cloak, give them also your coat; when they state your guilt, insist on the highest penalty. It is only after the great sacrifice that victory comes, as symbolised in Christ's victory over death. If one tries to push his beliefs on others, the others will (instinctively) resist and push back. This kind of pushy preaching is, in itself, Old Testament strategy. But, if one listens to others and takes on their beliefs, acknowledges the value, the others will in turn give back the same respect. This results in realised unity. If we, the world's young at heart, are finding it difficult, say, to get corporations, governments and apathetic citizens to heed our warnings and take our views into account, then this is due to a lack of understanding on our part of the laws of force direction. If there is a reason for the accomplishments of the abovementioned forerunners then surely the reason can be learned, formulated and applied. This is our task. Let us begin.
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The Man Who Never Sleeps: Part II - Chaz's Manuscript - chapter 4

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neversleep p2 -4 Neversleep illustration 6 A young human with a crewcut and an unshaven chin answered the door. He looked casually at Spaper and said, “Hey, bro'”. Then he went back inside and sat down. He was playing a game on a Sony Playstation. I followed Spaper in. “This is my cousin -- Chaz,” said Spaper. “How are ya. I'm Gamble,” said the human to me. “Gamble?” I said. “Everybody calls him Gamble because he's right into the pokies,” said Spaper. Gamble smiled at that and shook my hand. “What are yers up to?” he asked in a heavy human dialect. “Nothing much,” said Spaper. “Sit down, mate. You want a cone?” said Gamble. “Thanks bro',” said Spaper. “I wouldn't turn one down.” We sat down and it just clicked to me what Gamble meant by “a cone”. Our kind did not smoke marijuana; we considered it a poor man's drug. But there was Spaper, packing a cone for himself in a little pipe. When in Rome, I thought. He took a lighter to it, and sucked it all up. Then he repacked the pipe and handed it to me, blowing a cloud of smoke out of his smiling mouth. I lit it and took it into my lungs. It burned my throat and I went into a fit of coughing. “Still on this stage!” said Spaper to Gamble, referring to the game. “Yeah bro', I gotta get past those three men,” Gamble replied. Then they both went into a conversation that I couldn't follow, about the computer game. Spaper spoke with perfect human slang and accent. I reclined and felt the drug take effect. Soon I began to relax and notice how amusing they sounded, talking the human slangs and pronunciations -- “…Nah, man. I already tried that. It's too full-on!” “But not with full energy. Here, give-it-`ere! I'll show you.” I giggled. They both looked at me for a second then went back to the game. “Bro', this is starting to rev me up! This joy-pad's fucked!” “Give-it-`ere! You're freakin' me out!” “`Frea-kin'-me-out',” I parroted with a smile, and started laughing. They both looked at me in surprise. “What the fuck!” laughed Gamble. “Is this the first time this bloke ever smoked up or what?” “Yeah, man,” said Spaper. “You're freakin' me out, Chaz.” Just then there was a buzz at the door. At that I immediately pulled myself together. Gamble got up and pressed a button on the wall. “Come on up,” he said into the receiver. A moment later, another human came dragging his feet in with a six-pack of beer. He was introduced as Wazza, and he handed everyone a beer. He looked as humans generally do in the afternoon: haggard. This one was big and stunk of sweat. I tried not to meet eyes with him. “You look pretty rooted, Waz',” said Gamble. “Too right, mate. I just worked a forty-hour week,” said Wazza. His voice was rough and squeaky. “Fuck that. So, how's your investing going?” he squeaked. “Aw, you know, still going,” said Gamble. “It's a waiting game. I reckon my shares in IT will go up to about ten dollars eventually. You just wait, bro'. Cone?” “Too right, mate.”  Eyeless In my daze I studied everyone, getting lost in the quirky details. Remember, it was my first time smoking. “So you must be saving shit-loads? Hey bro'?” Gamble said this while handing the ready pipe to Wazza. Wazza's hairy hand took it while his crooked teeth said, “A fair sum, mate, too right. I'm thinking of getting a home loan.” “Don't do it!” snapped Gamble. “You'll regret it. Trust me.” “They're going pretty cheap now, though.” “Nah, bro'. They're cheap now, but the interest rate will suddenly go up later. If you get a place now, you'll have to stay in your job, paying it off for ever!” Gamble's voice was loud now. He had taken the definite tone of a fanatic. He'd obviously just discovered the subject of financial strategy. “Yeah, I don't know,” squeaked Wazza. “You got to get a place sometime though.” Gamble grinned wildly. “Bro', find a good investment! Make your money grow. Work smart, not hard.” “I don't know anything about investing, matey.” “Yeah, man. I'll lend you a book to read. It's fuckin worth your while, ay.” We drank the beer and played computer games for a further half an hour. I was only used to the finest wines and spirits then, but I did my best to stomach the foul drink and keep up. Wazza and Gamble talked about `the footy' throughout. The footy! Bah! I won't even go into that subject. Then Spaper stood up. “Gamble, we gotta get going then, chief,” he said. “Alright, bro',” said Gamble. “Hey, come over tomorrow, alright?” “Yeah, probably.” “I won't be working. We'll play the Sony or something.” I got up and followed Spaper. “Delighted to, ah, make your acquaintance,” I said. “Yeah, take it easy,” said Gamble. “And stay off the drugs, ay!” he laughed. Wazza just nodded at me and sweated. When we were outside the unit, Spaper said, “Well then! How were your first two humans?” I just grinned. “Je suis defonce!” I sure was stoned. Spaper laughed. Life was a novelty to him. “Come on, I want to show you something,” he said. I followed him downstairs. We stepped out of the building and into the world. It was a cool afternoon and a gentle breeze washed over us. With alcohol and drugs pumping through me, I felt just capital. I realised now what Spaper had been saying earlier about danger, and I was excited. Here, there was just enough danger to keep it interesting. At any moment a car could reel off the road and destroy me. A thunderstorm could break out and lightning could strike me down. I could catch pneumonia. A frustrated human could appear from the shadows and smash my head into the footpath. There were cafes after cafes, and restaurants after restaurants, selling hamburgers and noodles and chicken -- most of which contained cholesterol, hormones, preservatives and various other harmful ingredients. Maybe I'd trip and land on broken glass. Maybe a mosquito would bite me, give me a fatal disease! I might be allergic to something in this filthy air! This was living on the edge -- O yes! My imagination ignited and paranoia took control. I drew closer to Spaper. “Hey, what are you doing?” he said. “Take it easy.” “Yes, yes. Quite right,” I said, drawing away. “They can probably smell fear.”  Eyeless The sun was setting. Spaper led me to a beachfront café. Hanging all around were vines and pot plants. Little speakers on the walls spat out jumping bebop tunes that mixed with the roar of conversation. We found a table just outside the door, and once seated I began marvelling at the human-style menu. Every minute or so, laughter erupted from one table or another. “She has her hair up today,” said Spaper, lighting up a cigar. The intense tone in his voice made me look up. I saw that he was staring at one of the waitresses as she weaved her way around tables, across the floor, balancing a tray of food above her head. Spaper gave me a cigar and I lit up. “Who's she, then?” I asked. “She's Celeste!” he said. I was confused and went back to looking at the menu. “Here she comes,” said Spaper. “Hot chips…wedges... salad…” -- I was reading. “Hello Celeste,” said Spaper when she arrived at our table. I saw that she had a nametag. “Oh, hello,” she said cheerfully. “You've been here a lot lately.” “Yes. It's …nice here. How are you?” asked Spaper. “I'm great, thanks. And you?” “All the better for seeing you.” “Oh! Well thank you,” she blushed. “And what would you like?” “A long black, please,” said Spaper. “I should have known. And you?” She looked at me. I was still reciting the menu to myself -- “…Coca Cola…” “One coke,” said Celeste, writing it down on a pad. I could have you killed in a minute's notice, I thought. You little human! “Would you like some water as well?” she asked both of us. This is the only chance you have to get at me, I thought. While I'm right in front of you. “Yes, thanks,” said Spaper. She looked at me. Well, what are you waiting for, woman? Pick up some cutlery and drive it into my head! “Do it!” I exclaimed. “Okay, I'll have your drinks brought out to you shortly,” she said politely and walked away. “What the hell's the matter with you!” said Spaper. “Are you trying to ruin my chances?” “My God!” I exclaimed. It suddenly occurred to me that Spaper had no wife, nor any mistresses -- none that I was aware of, anyway. I looked over to her and back to Spaper. He blushed like someone who'd been caught stealing. “Out of all the fatally dangerous things that could happen to us down here,” I said, “please tell me you haven't gone and fallen for a damned woman?” I said. He avoided my eyes and said, “Of course not, chief. She's just a nice piece of work, that's all.” “And for goodness sake, will you stop talking like a human!” While we had our refreshments, Spaper stared almost constantly at Celeste. I asked him about other places that he'd ventured to in the city but his attention wavered and he only half listened. I fell to watching the ocean outside. Afterwards Spaper took me to a pub that was full of pokie machines. Gamble was there in the clouds of cigarette smoke, peering into the `Mayan Civilisation' machine. His finger rhythmically pressed a button, while his other hand carefully nursed a cigarette that had burned halfway down to the butt without the ash breaking off. “You winning, champ?” asked Spaper. “How are ya, Johno?” said Gamble without looking away. “I won sixty, but I lost it again. I figure I should ride this one out.” “Wait here,” said Spaper to me. “I'll get you a beer.” I kept my back against the pokie machine next to Gamble, just in case a human tried to strike me from behind. I reasoned that the probability of my death would be greatly increased here in a pub, with the added factor of alcohol. I was nervous again. Humans were everywhere --- rowdy blue collared humans at the bar; old and defeated humans at corner tables, peering through eyeglasses at their beers; housewives with worn faces and cups full of dollar coins, sniffing out their lucky pokie machine. I eyed them all. Gamble's credits grew smaller and smaller until he lost all his money. “Mind my spot,” he said and went to get more change. He came back, put a handful of dollar coins in the machine, and resumed his earlier occupation and posture. “There's a big win coming up,” he said. “I can feel it.” Spaper brought back a jug of beer and we both sat together, watching Gamble do his thing. Hell, I think, must be a large room full of pokies. The jackpot is a ticket out. Some hours later, Gamble lost about three hundred dollars. I was intoxicated, and swearing loudly. Spaper later told me that he had to drag me out because I became paranoid and threatened the humans. Because of this, he said, Gamble considered me quite a character and took a liking to me. That's humans for you. I awoke later that night on my teleporter, in my own home. I stumbled off to bed, where Marietta moaned and said I had a strange odour. She got up and slept in another room. to be continued...  Eyeless To be notified when the next chapter of The Man Who Never Sleeps is published on Undergrowth.org sign up for the Neversleep email list here.
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Neversleep illustration 7

Neversleep illustration 7Illustration 7 for 'The Man Who Never Sleeps' by Levin Diatschenko