Thursday, 27 March 2014

The life of a monk

If you are a weird person, someone at some point has most likely barked at you 'Get a life!' Although having a life certainly has its positives - friends, company, etc. - not having a life is one of the most underrated lifestyle choices around.

When you are part of the crowd, you are far more reluctant to look beyond what is familiar to you. If you are part of the mold, you take things for granted. A lot of weird people who are ostracized spend a great deal of time and effort to integrate. This often results in awkward and embarrassing moments.  The best solution is just to think - 'Fuck, 'em I give up.' Whilst this route has been advertised as suicidal, it can actually spiritually enriching. Didactic school plays tell you not to take drugs. If you don't take drugs, you probably didn't because of these smalchy pieces of propaganda. You just thought it through logically and decided your life was better off without those substances. Since you were a squirt, teachers have advised you constantly 'Have friends,' 'Be social,' 'Don't spend too much time on your own.' This, too, is smalchy propaganda.

Just think of all you can do when you are alone! All the projects you can set in motion! If you are surrounded by people 24/7, you won't find the time to start a novel, write a symphony or study string theory. You are probably besieged by your other studies all the time anyway. When you are an alienated little wierdo, you look around more and discover jewels. If I had been popular at school, I don't think I would have run across Captain Beefheart aged 13, James Joyce aged 16 or Bergman aged 18. If I had desperately tried to integrate, it would have also delayed these discoveries.

Now, I don't discount friendship. Friends are great. There have been occasions when I have had unforgettable eight-hour long conversations. Of late I have gone out and been imbibed. Indeed, in the house I currently reside I have a reputation of been a heavy drinker.

Still, I have reluctantly been dragged into clubs and found the experience nauseating. The inordinately loud synthethic music is horrid. It all seems like one big pseudo event. I find it mind-boggling why someone would go into these dank depressing little places to have a good time. I also find it mind-boggling when I go to Canterbury cathedral to attend the performance of a Bach oratorio and it is heaving with blue-haired old ladies. That music is so youthful!

I prefer an austere, calm and quiet life. I like to wander through the woods, the countryside, the sea. I like prolonged periods of silence. I like to go through a whole day without speaking to another human being. By contemporary standards I have lived the life of a monk.

I was thinking how much I would like to live in a 9th century monastery and experience the immutable mysticism. The universe is seems so absurd, and so accidental, that to do that now it would be inconceivable to me. In these post-modern times, we are so fucking self-aware of everything we do. If we do experience mystical moments, it is self-reflexive mysticism. If we are transcended, we are aware of it at the same time. We all know that God is dead. People who dabble in religion now are aware that it is a social construct. I personally find theology and religio-philosophical inquiry fascinating, but I am aware that is just a human way of looking at things. Even priests admit that now. Back in the 19th century, the existence of God was immutable. Theology even informed the thinking of Nietzsche.

Anyway, this is my way of looking at things and I hope you find my advice useful. Try to lead the life of a monk any once in a while, even if it is just post-modern monkishness.

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