Saturday, 23 January 2010
Recently somebody asked me why I am interested in esoterics and how I would define esoterics.
Every now and then I realise that I live most of the time in my private little world, that stretches from the universe-sized object behind my eyelids (as Terence McKenna called it) to a few square meters in our home. I know how to function in society, but I prefer to be far from it. These are basic ingredients of the receipt for madness. Still, I am not mad.
Madness, or schizophrenia, as it seems to be called today, is something that can only be understood from inside. I have never been diagnosed, but I think that I have lived several periods on the edge of schizophrenia. As I see it, the mind has several functions, that can be understood as mental organs. Sometimes one of these mental organs get infected. Depending on which mental organ it is, the result is that the mind becomes out of balance. Certain functions drop, others are shifted in high gear. Basically, schizophrenia is like a natural drug trip. But unlike a drug, it doesn’t fade off after a few hours, because the balance cannot be restored.
I think that people who have an inclination for living in their own mind, or better said, for focussing on what goes on in their mind in stead of in the world around them, are fundamentally different from people that are focused on the world around them. It seems to me that these “insiders” are a minority. I guess that only 5% of the people are inside centred. It is ironic that these people are called “outsiders” by the rest of the people.
Last week there was an article in De Volkskrant about schizophrenia. It was illustrated with a work by Adofl Wolfli:
Adolf Wolfli clearly forever crossed the threshold that separates a person from society; he could not function in the world around him. He kept on sending messages from his inner world, and anyone who has taken a look in her/his inside universe will recognise the art that Wolfli produced as such, but these messages are way too vague to serve as communication.
Meditation is another way to explore the inside world. I am not interested in meditation as such. I am interested in bringing data from the inside to the outside. All inventions, all great ideas and all art is that: somebody picked it up inside and managed to re-create it outside. Usually this is done unconscious. I mean, it seems that most people were not aware of how they actually did it. It happened to them because they focussed on a certain question. I am not really interested in a certain question, I am interested in the mechanism as such. I want to understand how it works and I would love to make some sort of map of the inside universe. For me this is what esoterics are all about.
People like Adolf Wolfli are not conscious of what they are doing. Awareness makes the big difference between a schizophrenic and an esoteric.
The aim of esoterics, or at least my own aim, is to be aware 24 hours of the day of the fact that I am an insider-looking-outside. In our culture most people think of themselves as outsiders-who-look-inside-once-in-a-while. But I don’t see us as bodies that happen to have a mind, but as a mind that happens to have bodies.
I love songs that deal with these matters. Usually the songs are meant to be funny. That is not what I prefer, but the songs that are meant to be serious are often unbearable. I collect all of it, of course, and every now and then I make a compilation.
A recent find in this genre is ”Schizofrenia sufferer” by the band Radio Noise. I like the combination of the lyrics with a ska beat: