Monday, 5 December 2011

Time Enough At Last...

   Modern life is rubbish! Don’t take this comment literally… it is the substance and context, I refer to. Modern living is full of distraction and clutter, superficiality and unimportance. This is, of course, all by design. When recognising the ‘all pervasive’ role of the mainstream media weaponry, the established ‘norms’ of society, the promotion of a consumption culture, the educational “programming” we receive in youth (reinforced by family, unknowingly, because they went through the same processes) and the subtle manipulation of our fears and foibles, it’s understandable that everybody walks around looking like they haven’t had any sleep for 30 years…

   By utter chance, I recently had the opportunity to take off to a very remote part of northwest Scotland. A long lost friend invited several musician mates and me, to stay at his several hundred year old farmhouse, which he had partially converted into a huge recording studio. For those who don’t follow my blog… Music is my predominant livelihood and I am extremely lucky to have a (mostly) non-conformist lifestyle regarding work.

   I get asked why I don’t cover it much here. The truth is, I try not to mix the two worlds much… I don’t want to be seen to be shamelessly promoting any of my work here, because I don’t want to compromise the intent and message of The ‘Guide. For those who’ve asked, I am a jobbing musician, singer and lyricist, and I earn my crust as required by other bands, musicians, projects, etc. I also sing (mostly only big events now) with Who’s Renown (the longest running UK tribute band to The Who) and my other pet project: Crank Sinatra (not a tribute per se, more a mashing of styles with his music and the most fun I have earning a wage!).
Anyway, back to Scotland…


   I was asked to go and do some session work, with the bonus being that I had access to the means to start working on a project directly relating to The Truth Seeker’s Guide. I have long laboured on self-penned audio material that I could use for multi-media projects, without being subject to copyright! Unfortunately, I’ve had very little time free to get started on it. This jaunt was the perfect opportunity.

   My studio-owning friend is something of a fellow traveller and in his infinite wisdom(!) has decided to limit his contact with the outside world. He bizarrely has no outgoing phone line other than a payphone! I don’t think it’s a coincidence that his residence is also located (seemingly) outside of the existence of mobile phone networks. If you need an emergency service, that’s about the total sum of contact you’ll have with modern life. He also has no TV… which is fine with me!

   This situation certainly puts you in a position to take stock. The landscape (my paranoid friend wishes that I not be specific where!) is breath-taking and the air seems (although probably not much) cleaner. There is no noise or light pollution to speak of, meaning that views of the sky are incredible (and weird when you start noticing oddities!).

   There is something to be said for stripping away some of the tools of our modern enslavement. My fellow musicians and I joked about Henry Bemis, the character played by Burgess Meredith in the classic Twilight Zone episode: “Time Enough At Last”. For those who don’t remember (and shame on you!), he was the chap who loved peace and quiet in order to read books. Surviving a nuclear explosion gave him the chance to read all he wanted, that is, until his glasses broke and he couldn’t see a thing.

   It was my lack of access to the internet that made me wonder about the perils and the promises of modern technology. It is in the application where the fault lies. One person will use a tool to create, another to destroy. This is, never the less, one of the oldest clichés in the book, but it is painfully true however. We are at the mercy of technology when we become too reliant on it. What did I miss about it? What was the fuss all about? I had shamefully forgotten that making music doesn’t require apps and downloads! You can make sounds with anything and recording music only needs paper, something to write with… and the ability to write music, of course!

   None of these things should be a revelation though really. I remember in my childhood, when the only way to get to get in touch (whilst out) was with a phone box. Yet somehow, everybody managed. We only had a couple of TV channels in the UK, yet we were still programmed regardless. Computer meant ZX Spectrum or Commodore 64: no Ipads, DS, Blackberries, etc. You know it has all gone wrong when you hear stories about a teenage girl reportedly attempting to sell her virginity for an Ipad4, or the account of the 17-year-old Chinese boy who decided to sell his kidney for 20,000 Yuan to buy an iPad2…

   When you take it all away (like Bemis’ eyeglasses), what are we really left with? The other, deeper contemplation of my experience relates to my struggle with the concept of observational / perceived reality, the illusional construct, the Matrix or whatever you label it. I am painfully aware of the true nature of reality: perception is everything. Distraction in ALL forms is the existential wool pulled over our eyes. Being so much more detached from the attacks and bombardment of the encroaching New World Order, has presented me with something of an epiphany and a chance to exist as part of the larger tapestry, rather than react to it. This might sound trite to many, but it is nothing short of profound to me…

   Being away from modern life for a while was one of the best things that happened to me in a long time. How much I am prepared to sacrifice has given me food for thought. Am I willing to remove myself totally from the illusion? I’m not sure. It is always paramount to me that the word (even on a basic level) be spread to those who totally believe what they are fed daily…. to attempt to awaken the uninitiated. It is difficult to reach people, if not within the confines of “modern living” or the perceived reality. The internet remains, in my view, the only realistic way to propagate truth on a large scale. Until that changes, it’s role remains very important to me.

   Maybe I’m not there after all. That said though, the realisation has not escaped me. Upon returning, I have been telling all and sundry about the last few weeks and one individual took me to task, explaining that most people don’t have the opportunity, time and money to put them in a position to have a revelation and that I am one of the privileged few. Politely, that is an excuse and bluntly, it is horse manure! Realisation is a state of mind (or existence), regardless of location and conditions. Getting away helps, but it is not wholly inclusive of a result. When we stop being led, manipulated, programmed and lied to, we will all be a damn sight better off.
  When all is said and done, what are our choices?  Do we take the blue pill, and let the illusion of reality draw us back to a holodeck-like, slumber of manipulation? Or do we take the red pill and allow ourselves to venture beyond the façade?

   Thank you for letting me share my experience with you and thanks to those who have visited in my absence. Your presence has reminded me why I do this and that I'm not alone on the journey.

Till next time…
Namaste & Peace Out!
The ‘Guide



Books available from Carl James:
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Science Fiction and the Hidden Global Agenda - Volume Two - http://www.lulu.com/shop/carl-james/science-fiction-and-the-hidden-global-agenda-2016-edition-volume-two/paperback/product-23209433.html
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9 comments:

captron52 said...

I really enjoyed this entry.I think I understand what you are saying. There are plenty of times when I allow myself to live in the "ego" state and even knowing it is all an illusion I still find "good' times in this world of illusion.And yes, I remember quite well the Twilight Zone episode--one of my favs! Thanks for sharing your adventures and thoughts with us my friend. Keep up the good work!

The Truth Seeker's Guide said...

Thanks for dropping in.
I realised after posting this, that I may have sounded like I'm wholly critical of the state of existance! I'm not. I know there is still plenty of good to come out of the illusion.
I should have highlighted that at the end!

Glad others are keeping the spirit of The Twilight Zone alive too!

All the best my friend.
Carl (The 'Guide)

captron52 said...

I sure didnt mean to infer you were critical of anything Carl.I always look forward to reading yiur thoughts! Have a good one my friend

Big Jim Beam said...

Saw ur Who tribute in Liverpool, Mathew Street Festival. Great stuff. LONG LIVE ROCK Truth Seeker!

The Truth Seeker's Guide said...

Cheers Big Jim.
Yeah! One of my fave gigs.
All the best my friend.
Carl (The Guide)

Andy Mature said...

Spot on, as always.
Keep up the good work!

All the best,
Andy Mature

The Truth Seeker's Guide said...

Cheers my friend!
All the best,
Carl (The Guide)

nhblivin said...

You're put words to my thoughts that I was not able to get down on record.
I love reading your blog.
Keep us posted!

The Truth Seeker's Guide said...

Many thanks for the support nhblivin.
All the best my friend!
Carl (The Guide)