writing about my life

A Hermit’s Joy

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Dear Steve

This is the consummation of my inner world, what I write to you.

The Telepathy Game

You languish for years in a garret. The walls and ceiling are yellowed from the smoke of your cooking fires. Aged sausages and hams hang in the fireplace. You are alone and desperate not to have the spell of solitude broken. Occasionally in a fireside reverie presences come to you, they hover like fireflies around your head. Voices, words come. You feel under a level of attention that troubles the hermit in you. Soon enough you answer back: “What do you people want with me ?”

“A hermit’s joy”

Each time you emerge into the “real” world outside the hovel your eyes are wild and staring. They drill into people cruelly, drill and bore into them when you encounter someone. And this is all to do with the Telepathy Game. You fear some final encroachment of society into your free, individual mind. You live in terror of being sucked dry and left with only a shambling conformity as your last option. You are hunting for privacy like a lone wolf and so you find a way to cheat the voices, to fool the intrusive presences who want your mind-juice. You will consciously deceive and mislead the fools with selected lies and fabrication. You will confess to unseen crimes of which you are not guilty. You will lay snares for the hunters. What they aim for is to recover personal data, little snippets from life that they will treasure and gloat over. What you give them is disinformation. I only speak to you of this because I know they are after you, too. This is our tactic, this our great solution before they can dissolve our personae into solution ready to be filtered, chromatographed, centrifuged into data to track us. Data to predict us, our movements, our very being. We can win at this, beat ’em raw. I know we can.

And ooooh the rush of liberation when the Game proceeds your way. You are unmolested and safe in the firelight once more, free for another turn of fate and left to cook up new plans, to be gleeful and to rub your hands in hope. To know your survival is rendered unto highest probability. The risks that other souls represent are mitigated again! Distractions from thought annulled once more you stare back into the flames.

Woman of my nightmares, she said to me: “Your soul searching is predicated o only going so far. You will never sacrifice your english reserve.” I thought this was an absurdity given my churning guts. Churning guts sign of churning soul, ever present, sometimes backgrounded sometimes primary. Ever excoriant ever flagellant, ever erosive. I am coming out of the mistake now… I thought I could give up writing. But the only result was more constipation. The churning is stopped down like a low note on a church organ, the clodded contents of mind gut are packed in and have not been vented for far too long. Ever internalising thought which was best on paper, to resume the flow now is a complex surgery, to gently coax the stabbing fingers back to their typing groove.

I awoke today and slowly the memories of the cider sodden last night drift back to me. I went to sleep terrified of prison. I had watched a naughty youtube documentary about women on the game and on drugs who were being rehabilitated. My last thoughts before oblivion were of Darrel the neighbour, who is a jail-bird. “You can’t even dream of what its like” he said. Prison. I quiver in fear at the reduction of my status to the lowest. Companion of ruffians and vagabonds. Teased for my sensitivity retreating to the dingy cell after association. An omnipresent fear building to terror that they will call me a nonce. I will squirm and look nervous and this will support their accusation. Soon I will be a broken man. A fantasy no less but so vivid it caused panic.

Next day I healed it completely by embracing the fear and breathing it. This is a reversal that I am proud of. I can transform any negative feeling into a means of greater connection with myself!

After about 5 coffees I dance in my kitchen to Leonard Cohen. If I breathe rapidly and deeply and tilt my head backwards I go wobbly. My coordination gives way and I stumble. With the right art this stumble can be sustained and itself turns into a kind of wild dance. As I breathe and make movements that are uncharacteristic of my usual personality a gateway opens to a state where I feel more. I know Steve that you may disapprove of this, issuing warnings about how it will cause social inferiority but I am damn nigh set on this as one of the workings of my consciousness quest. The quest combines with the writing to transform me into a psychonaut of the conscious and unconscious, an explorer of shamanic states achieved through breathing and dance. It is great fun and all without drugs, except my booze habit which doesn’t count.

as I tilt my head I realise that my body system is slowly correcting a slight stoop. I feel the nerves and muscles realigning themselves and understand that the woozy wobbly feeling brought this on. As a studious and introverted child I took on a mantle of seriousness that was inherited from my upbringing. As I grow into my true birthright of a free independent life the old mould is slowly melted back into the self-crucible. The old seriousness of mind, the stoop, the glaring eyes are reabsorbed into the primal body matrix and I find that I have grown. Nothing without suffering, nothing without effort, the struggle and the flowering are worthwhile.

This has taken me years. Years of working on it every day.

My dear steve, I am honestly finding it to be a renewal of hope in my life that the one true crew are once more able to meet at my flat. I can only say that I hope you will attend next Thursday, all present are grateful for your presence, I can assure you. I get a funny feeling when I know I am appreciated, perhaps because the conditions of my early life were a little punitive. Ian has just thanked me for my kindness and it has given me this funny feeling, like secretly I am a psychopath who just wants to persuade everyone of my virtue but never felt convinced I would be believed. As if really I am bad to the bone but expert at PR. I guess that’s just a feeling that comes to someone who has seen what I’ve seen. I feel given the amount you have sent to me over the years that you should perhaps be the individual who I must most grace with my honesty, and this is why I talk in this vein.

I have found that being responsible for getting good presents for my nephews and nieces has worn me down a little, but I saw some remarkable trinkets in the market today in Canterbury that will suit them. What would a stream of consciousness novel be if it didn’t include some trivia? It would be too unremitting in my case. Besides I have heard it said that some people can read the most profound signs from the littlest matters in life. either way I am covered.

Again my approach here is not to read back over what I have written but to maintain a stream that is quite literally the diversion of the flowing river of thought down a pipeline to you. This may have been a method that you have used in your writing to me but I confess to having failed to master your style enough to get a true and complete picture of what you truly wanted to say. Perhaps I should challenge you more about what you meant in individual passages…

I have the black thing at the moment but it has come in its kind and enlightening mode, creating a depth and soulfulness in what I experience. I see how love should never be betrayed, but I also see that I have not done this. At other times the darkness ravages away all certainty and hope but it is not like that now. I see how important everything is, but unlike in the cruel times, I see that I have done my best to honour that. It feels like a stern parent who is reluctantly charitable, but charitable nonetheless. I do not connect this parental feeling with my real parents, I feel that the universe has taken on a stern role and that this is its chosen manner of visitation.

Above all I feel weaselly. Why do I say this? because the Tozle that teazles is the weasel that skeezles. Is this me trying to be cryptic? I am not sure, although nonsense speak of that kind carries no secret meaning that the privileged to whom it is addressed can know. So if I was trying to be cryptic there wouldn’t be much point since there is no one to decrypt. Maybe it is mental collapse, but again probably not. It is a whimsical dance of possibility engaged in for its own sake. I say it because I can, and in some way I know that you will see this. After all nonsense from a friend is still material from that friend. Perhaps we both share a seriousness of mind that needs to be diluted somewhat, and the nonsense is a welcome introduction of padding, as advised by many tutors of essay writing.

Unless my unconscious is a better guide to how I feel than my conscious and the allowance of unconscious code, freudian dribble, is merely to allow me to see that “weaselly” means I feel like fucking shit, which is how I feel now. But that feeling may have arisen after my use of the weaselly word, and so the unconscious hypothesis is invalid. I feel my parents are upon me. They urged me to submit to an education that wasn’t one. How much has it moulded my thoughts beyond what I can see now? Maybe you are secretly laughing at these phrases I utter… seeing the idiocy laid bare. Maybe you are not, though, because your parents did something similar to you. The black thing is growing more forbidding now, I may have to seek a change of scene and return to the kitchen. I do.


Now a few minutes have elapsed and I have returned to writing. I will go to bed.


I awoke at 4 am and decided to get up

My dream

I was staying at my cousin Rick Westoll’s and it was cold. I got up early and laid a fire in the living room, then decided it was so cold that more than one would be needed. As I was half way through I discovered that Rick had also lit fires in the other rooms so the cottage would soon be blazing hot. He had a dog and it kept on looking at me and drooling. I could smell the dog’s body and breath very vividly and it became repulsive. I theorised that I was receiving telempathic communication from my rats, who hate dogs mainly because they are a chief predator.

Adjoining the cottage was another building and my father and Rick’s wife as well as a few others were having supper there over drinks and chat. I went to find Rick and found him lying comatose with an electronic device strapped over his head. It turned out that he had discovered a new hobby, direct neural stimulation. He had bought a machine that stimulated the brain electrically and had become keen on designing programs for the machine that created a drug-like effect. But he had got obsessed and spent so much time in stim that it looked like brain damage. I went to get my father from the dining room and insisted that he had to come and see. My father wouldn’t believe me at first and I had to show him Rick who was flat out drooling before he would believe the outlandish story.

As I woke up I realised that a lot of my life had been about using some kind of means to interface peoples’ minds together a bit like a networked variant of Rick’s machine. I saw how my intensity can be a little tiring sometimes, but that my mind has amazing energy and I should feel grateful. The interface between two people is a very rich and complex thing… infinite even… and sometimes you have to be careful not to overdo direct stim. Reaching out to the unknown spaces is also tricky because the consciousness energy of creation is immense and it can frazzle you.

my consciousness, so I saw has the power to interface with others with a membrane of separation that has zero thickness. Even that is an imperfect metaphor. The best word for the process is Communion, but it has risks and complications too so that the ideal is not easily found. this is the search for love. I saw as I awoke that the interface between two humans is a whole realm of learning and phenomena of its own. I wondered if this intensity I have leads me to become almost a bully with companions’ minds. Mystical concerns came back to me as it seemed that consciousness is a mirror and a sponge and a palimpsest too… Why not gently focus on the sephiroth as aspects of higher mind that you can reflect, absorb, squeeze out and encode…

I felt myself as a young soul with much to learn and balance. my excitement at being alive can be infectious but there is a possibility with interfacing.. one of an infinite number.. that this excitement can lead to a kind of “consciousness bullying” which I should watch for. That is all speculative though. As I moved more into waking consciousness the more mystical layers of the thoughts gradually receded back into mystery. also the self-recriminatory concern about bullying and how I needed conscious gentleness receded because it was part of a more troubled self-process.

But then I sat up and started to write and all the stuff came back in my examination of it… There are a range of subtle awarenesses as far as I can see. Without becoming hypnotised by a fantasy of omniscience I will say more. Each day is different but there is a clear veil between the sleeping and the waking, and Common-Sense reality seems to increase the forgetting of dream material. I don’t lionise the guy but Freud was smart. In finding more contact with feelings we do cross a veil of a kind, and learning to make the transition with more fluidity and ease seems to mean we are growing in ability to connect with “deeper” parts.

then again Ive been doing this and banging on about it for years and I haven’t changed much 😉 back on the everyday side of the veil there.


Written by Luke Dunn

December 9, 2014 at 5:14 am

Posted in Prose

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