Friday, September 14, 2007

sEE yOU On thE OthEr sIdE!!!

Have you noticed—exhortations to indulge yourself are always followed by suggestions? Adherents of doctrines seek footholds to claim territory within you, salesmen grasp for handles to jerk you around . . . from new-age prophets to advertisers, from pornographers to radicals, everyone exhorts you to “pursue your desires,” but the question remains: which ones? The “real” ones? Who decides which those are?

If we are to transform ourselves, we must transform the world—but to begin reconstructing the world, we must reconstruct ourselves. Today all of us are occupied territory. Our appetites and attitudes and roles have all been molded by this world that turns us against ourselves and each other. How can we take and share control of our lives, and neither fear nor falter, when we’ve spent those lives being conditioned to do the opposite?

Whatever you do, don’t blame yourself for the fragments of the old order that remain within you. You can’t sever yourself from the chain of cause and effect that produced you—not with any amount of willpower. The trick is to find ways to indulge your programming that simultaneously subvert it—that create, in the process of satisfying those desires, conditions which foster new ones. If you need to follow leaders, find leaders who will depose themselves from the thrones in your head; if you need to “lead” others, find equals who will help you dethrone yourself; if you have to fight against others, find wars you can wage for everyone’s benefit. When it comes to dodging the imperatives of your conditioning, you’ll find that indulge and undermine is a far more effective program than the old heritage of “renounce and struggle” passed down from a humorless Christianity.

To return, finally, to the original question—yes, we too are making suggestions about which desires you pursue. We would be scoundrels to deny that! But we would be scoundrels not to make these suggestions, not to extol freedom and self-determination in a world that discourages them. Exhorting others to “think for themselves” is ironic—but today, refusing to oppose the propaganda of the missionaries and entrepreneurs and politicians simply means abandoning our society and species to their control. There’s no purity in silence. And liberty does not simply exist in the absence of control—it is something we have to make together. Taking responsibility for our part in the ongoing metamorphoses of the world means not being afraid to take part in the making of our society, influencing and being influenced as we do.

We make suggestions, we spread this propaganda of desire, because we hope by doing so to indulge our own programmed passion for propaganda in a way that undermines an order that discourages all of us from playing with our passions—and so to enter a world of total liberty and diversity, where propaganda and power struggles alike are obsolete. See you on the other side.