writing about my life

why be a recluse?

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so this is the ongoing question? have I screwed myself up by doing self-primalling. I seem to get a “yes” on this question from you, Steve, but I think I disagree and this long letter is partly going to set you straight about it.

My guts are like hades and my oesophageal sphincter is like a magic portal to this dark kingdom. If the portal opens foul vapours and acids rise. I keep the portal shut when I must function externally, but I am gradually loosening the bonds that hold Hades in place, so that I may be a Hell-raiser and bring unconscious into the light. You are a valued companion on this journey, like the times we used to sit outside Beano and I would receive aggression from everyone who walked past. The memories of this are still too fresh really. I define my space by what is excluded.

Breath is the secret key to the portal and I heal thus. The boiling fluids of my heart are gradually calming. The functioning of a pressure cooker is dependent on the quality of the valve.

I am a young prince, raised with charm and panache. My companions are vagabonds I met by a roadside once. I fell in with you all on your wild pilgrimage and now I am one of you. But I too have something new to give, you must study with me in this.

Also outside Beano you saw David, he was the one who said “I see you have been to different dimensions, interesting isn’t it…”

He is no longer with us. he hanged himself after comedown. Some say his girlfriend drove him to it also. I don’t know and probably never will. I could use my powers to try and deduce but something tells me the process would be error prone. He fell and I continued the pilgrimage. Bless.

When I was coming off the pills I had a series of vivid fantasies where he inducted me into magic, particularly the OTO. He taught me to banish. This was just my visionary space alone, he never confirmed that he had known the same reality. Around that time also I walked naked into the street, after receiving an initiatory vision about Zulu tribes and my role as monkey-messiah to protect chimps. I didn’t go far which was fortunate since I would probably have been sectioned if caught. Still this was the real initiation, not the visions. every self respecting schizo has done it once and got their wings.

The point is not to be wild for the sake of wildness though, the point is to be yourself and not care if occasionally that means you branch out into wildness. After all Anthony streaked at a cricket match and he is not a schizo.

I have Pete and Dan coming over later and now the crucial question is whether I should have a drink now or wait. It is 11:00 am ! My priority for the day is to manage the Pete situation successfully. If I get into a certain (not necessarily a wrong) mindset I will start to find him selfish and inconsiderate. this is complicated because of course those two adjectives are favourite ones with which my mother brought me up ! I was battered and tormented for allegedly being selfish and inconsiderate, so now I project and transfer it upon Pete. I need to resolve this. On the one hand seeing mates will heal the loneliness and roll the wheel of life one stage further round, on the other hand it may upset me if Pete makes too many demands, to be fed, watered and nappy-changed. again there is a similarity because of course my mum changed my nappies. So first I mother Pete with sweet gentleness and a deft hand, then slowly the loving mother morphs and foully mutates into the controlling vengeful one, much like mine did. Is this why people say that History repeats, my dear Steven?

of course these games with reality we play so avidly are leading who knows where… I am a post Freudian self-navel-obsessive, so somewhere along the way parenting and childhood will come into it for me. But you seem to reject this Steven, preferring to talk about coprophilia, linguistics and noncing. As I write I feel a dim need to inquire of you more about your artistic intentions with your letters. I wish I could paper a room with them, as I mentioned, but perhaps the occupants of such a room would quickly find themselves insane. Or joining you in the infinite Phillip K Dick reality-fuck that you journey within. Each soul is the bearer of its own perceptual universe, and how unique each of ours is! When I see you a little sub-avatar of myself enters your game-zone and I leap and jump, duck and dive through the Clements obstacle course too. You visit me and for that time you can share in the Dunnian world.

so these letters of ours are a bridge… or are they even a harmonising structure that can prove that our two paradigms are in fact complementary? Where you are light I am dark, where your quantities are discrete mine are continuous. Where you deal in curves I deal in angles, your manifold is closed, mine open, but together we find a superspace wherein both are embedded, and through such collaboration a great synthesis leads to our theory of everything, our theory of Margate, our theory of psychiatry, our theory of music. Our graffito in history’s pseud’s corner. haha fucking great.

I sometimes see Pete, Ian, Bill, Dan and Steve as unbearable ruffians, criminals, people with no manners. But in another way they are my own. What can be done when my background is so different to that of my friends? I am a different kind of person in my nature too, conditioned to be more dynamic and go-getting mentally but with a handicap from this in terms of letting go and emotional understanding.

When Roz’n’Geoff tried to reform me they prised me away from my scene in Ramsgate. My anarchist credentials were good. I lived in a cave and had criminals as friends, now I wear a tweed jacket and promenade in westgate, safe but somehow lonely.

I tried coming off the meds and had a busy conscious life for a while. Then the process bottomed out and geoff reported me to the doctor. I had shouted in a supermarket.

After going back on the pills I lost the full conscious stack of my beliefs, lost the libertarian streak that was my soul’s voice. Antipsychotic meds are a chemical lobotomy, severing my will and initiative from my own feelings.

Coming back on the meds has made me more conventional, but less alive. Is there still a dialectic of progress in my thought and life? To continue to grow I must unravel my strands and re-attain clarity, plenty of short term memory rebuilding and laying demons to rest.

I was brought up superstitious by mum, she threatened to stab my eyes with knitting needles… now that threat won’t leave me, it’s built in.

I watched a documentary about a schizophrenic who twiddled his hair, he thought his parents had come to kill him when they visited the unit, my mum is trying to say I am like that.

Monotheism comes to supersede the darkness of paganism, science to supersede the darkness of irrational superstition. The known is lit by the light of knowledge. The boundary of what is known widens in time.

“you create your own reality”, she used to say – belief is virtual. The dark tower from her tarot deck no longer has power over me. I feel we schizos are heretics because we inhabit the unenlightened dark of irrationality. We discard the Good News of science.

But the darkness of superstition creates an air of mystery, we may gain strange powers and be feared.

So the power imbalance between me and mum is not totally one sided. With monotheistic science comes modern tech-rational society, so the schizo who rejects this is an anarchist too trying to create chaos.

public enemy no. 1 the hate figure on the hate screen – Orwell

Sexual normality and monogamy is also the New Order, dirtiness, perversion, free love and polygamy constitutes the heresy. We did that in the cave. Eschewing TV also plays a part, TV is the symbol of modernity. We were bearded bikers in garrets who wont make eye contact. Sexually unattractive but degenerately promiscuous anyway. Why fuck something ugly? Because you can… and the ugly thing has needs too. Parents heard I let Graham sleep in my bed when I wasn’t using it. community spirit becomes a rumour of homosexual depravity. The bourgeoisie thrive upon their grubby stories.

Ordered society is seen as the epitomy of the rational, but when you really look this is just another brand of myth. After all, every religion claims to be the one true teaching. This is a totalitarianism that recurs with any hegemony of ideas. Competing groups each need to define a reality that makes their world bearable, this is the role of myth, it is social construction of a homely space to block out the darkness of pain and the wolves that howl in the night.

Mythmakers legitimate their words and lay them down, strata, established
then hallowed and followed as Law. Mum and geoff imply the left is the new dictatorship but rather than liberating rebels they are reactionaries, stamping their boots on the face of my free expression.

You may not create your reality totally but you do author your own words, and so I take back my purity, my self-manufacture from their hands.

I am also troubled by ther existence, on the periphery of my awareness, of various schoolfriends who hover in my mind threatening to judge my life as a tragic business. I am wary of some of these individuals sending “agents” to me to discern the facts and then distribute them along the grapevine of chatter that connects people who were once a peer group, but now merely a tenuous social sector. As you know my fortunes and my habits have changed radically since I was a Hooray Henry. I am very wary of various ex-associates gathering to chatter about me and think they know my situation by hearsay, coming in the form of “news” about “how I am doing”. I was concerned that Joe might have been doing this, but now I look at it it seems his situation is more like mine than it is like Philpott or Cunningham’s. “The Olde Boye Networke” must be subverted at every turn. I fight for rationality over my paranoia. Is awareness joined to social network or is it joined to something more like ordinary space? If I am culturally and ethnically upper-middle class does this imply a proximity of mind such that my sensings are valid? or is it paranoia to feel a flickering tendril of someone else’s mind surveying your reality and rushing off to share the news about how miserable a failure you are? I think (and hope) that I am imagining this. All I know about Philpott and Cunningham are that they are in work, and married. That’s not much but it would suggest by reciprocity that they do know that I am not in work and not married, and even this is more than I would like them to know.

Can a person’s life situation be so different to another’s that it might be said that they inhabit fundamentally different universes? On the one hand my physics tells me that we are all embedded in the one universe of space, time, matter, kebabs and cities. But on another mutant, supernumerary hand… a third hand that well-formed physiological conformists don’t possess… it seems that each soul inhabits its own space with wildly unique character and rules. The Steveian universe you inhabit is something entirely “of” you. Mine also, but step down the differnetiometer and you will find these groups with similarisation of mindspace and mindset. These conforming beings will share enough of a slice of value-space and reaction-space that they will notice observe and comment slyly on those of us who are lonely in unique humoid spaces. I mean by this that the rulebooks for us aren’t written and this places us out on a limb. a limb of unique experience and touchy, subtle unpredictability. I do not want to be considered part of my olde boye public schoole peer network… I don’t think you would either. But its lonely at the top and its a small world, and this makes for a grapevine where people sense your general fortunes. Leave me alone and fuck off back to Pimlico I cry !!

but isnt this the pattern of a recluse… I try to control my social circle so I can reduce the torrent of data that a busy engaged life entails. There is so much karma flooding over me that it threatens to drown. I need closure on the past for one reason, and one alone, so that I can reduce the complexity of what is in my experiential in-tray. This complexity is not something mathematical, it is what life brings, a complicated tangle of thoughts feelings and situations. a writer wants to harness this to tell better stories, but I am not that kind of writer. I am more of a mathematician who wishes to keep excluding stuff that is not germane until he has isolated the alchemic essences down to a manageable level. I wish to inhabit a world that is small enough that I have a chance in hell of “knowing” exaclty what is going on. But life is so big it keeps on forcefully downloading huge datasets that bog me down. If there wasn’t a handicap in separating emotion from thought this situation might not be so pressing. I write to say I have understood. I write for closure to reduce and unweave tangled balls of string, which is karma. karma is spaghetti, its tangled and you dip a fork and twist to wind it into a lump that is edible. I want to finish this meal and know that there is enough space between meals that I can know where I am but the cosmic chef keeps on ladling more experience-pasta onto my plate. I can’t get it to slow down… every day brings new stuff and the bottleneck is the speed with which I can write it down!

if you can see into this gnarly problem then you can get a rare and valuable insight into why a person wants to be alone. Recluse, hermit… whatever… they will call me all these things and more. really I just want to have a sane mind that can chew on one thing at a time and make progress. What I get is this raging flood, like a hot beef injection into the intellect, of chaotic emotion that never relents. All I want to do is record and write it down, analyse and segment, and lay to rest… all I get is diarrhea when my emotions start overflowing into my physical health. End of.

but there’s hope because you are listening. Indeed I am forcefully downloading to you. I’m sorry but then again some people enjoy the wealth of input like that. I hpe you would tell me if you were overwhelmed but I get the feeling that my words are another form of wealth for you, like when you get all your computer packages for free on a stick. so I’ll continue dear Steve.


Written by Luke Dunn

December 30, 2014 at 12:34 pm

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