Sitting on the beach in Miraflores staring out at the water. There's a solitary pelican perched a short way out, riding the peaks and troughs of the waves, not fishing, not flying, not fighting, rolling with the tide, unerringly tranquil yet wide awake. The last couple of days of a three month trip. I've been travelling alone for two of the months, spending some time in solitude, and finding some short term compadres along the way. Physical isolation is quite a mixed bag of tricks, it can be very 'peaceful' at times, can be a good time for thinking, and can be lonely, for some, if you're that way inclined. If I ever feel the sense of loneliness creeping up I always stop to ask where it comes from, and why does it arise ? The answer I'm always faced with is that it's rooted an idea somehow impressed upon me by society/ culture; the idea that there's something wrong with being alone, that there's something wrong with you as a person if you spend long periods of time alone. I can't identify exactly where this comes from, or why it's with me, and obviously I don't know if that's why other people feel lonely when they do, but I'd be willing to bet that it plays a considerable part. When I come to the realisation that this is where the thought-feeling of loneliness is rooted, I can identify it as bullshit and stamp it out quite quickly. Why is there something wrong with being alone ? The obvious, easy answer is that there isn't, yeh spending time with people can be great, I can be the sociable type when the time is right, but, the time isn't always right. I think life should be explored and experimented with, whenever possible, and this will never be possible if we do the same thing day after day, week after week, year after month. Solitude and social interaction must be two opposing inevitabilities if we are to experiment with existence. Most, if not all artistic and skilled endeavours must include a great deal of time working alone, if not creating directly, then practising, honing skills and abilities in order to improve and become better in any chosen areas.
The town, an area of Lima is a bustling hub of travellers, tourists and locals, with a seemingly very effective process of integration. Prices for food and bevvies are around twice the price of most other areas of Peru, sometimes a lot more. The coke is strong and clean, not normally one of my chosen vices, but when you pay, at most, a quarter of the average UK price for a far superior product it would be rude not to have a go.
I went to a few casinos last night for a quick go at the black and reds, hit the nail on the head with black 32 on the first go, winning around 100 soles for a 10 sole bet, then bet 28, a number I've always had an attachment to, it was a miss but then came in twice in a row straight after, beginners luck, meaningful coincidence, either way I left the table 70 soles up. Then went to the next casino, bought a rum and coke for 20 soles and lost the remaining 50 in about 10 minutes, game over, quit before you're behind.
Back to an Irish themed bar I'd been drinking in earlier and met two very attractive young Peruvian ladies. The next few hours were spent drinking and geegling, then we went to a karaoke bar and sang Bobby Hebb's 'Sunny' and 'Bomehmin Rhapsody', I thought my luck was in. It wasn't, they made a sharp exit at around 2pm. Was a memorable night all the same.
I've arranged to meet one of them for lunch (I despise that word) tomorrow before I head to the airport, Ivana Salvador is her name, quite a name that it is.
Smoking like a chimney, and reading a lot of Neitzsche. Will to power, Beyond Good and Evil, and half way through Zarathustra, quite a story, a little like a parody of the messiah story, with Neitzsche's ideas intertwined... De-program the fetters of slave morality instilled in the psyche from growing up in a lower class catholic background, break the chains. I like the idea of the Ubermensch, but it must be taken with a pinch of salt, context is everything. Some other very powerful ideas, often misunderstood, and misused, as history has shown. Far be it from me to dictate. I think some of this stuff could potentially act as an effective philosophy for the oppressed, quite contrary to popular opinion. It really seems to cut through bullshit and 'woolly' Philosophical wishful thinking more than anything else before it. Live life standing upright, not on one's knees. Seems apolitical to me, nothing to do with right wing, left wing or any other wings, just some very potent ideas that might serve us well as a means of questioning our assumptions about the way the world is, or more specifically, about the way we think the world should be.
Early April, back in London, on a tech job for a few days, staying in some random hotel. All the bars are empty, conversation is almost extinct. You try and speak to a 'stranger' in these places and they look at you like you're a serial killer. This culture is sick. Material wealth amongst the majority in the city, weighed up with an acutely evident social alienation and a work ethic that keeps minds in the office 24/7, even when at home, when temporary leave from the Sisyphus stone has apparently been granted. But the alienation is really an illness of perception. If the modern ideas of Ken Wilbur et al are something akin to an objective truth, (and they certainly seem to create a map more effective than any other I've tried), and every step to a further evolutionary stage, be it physical, organic or psycho-social, comes with a risk of disassociation and pathology, then this alienation, or as it has been called recently 'the age of loneliness' can be viewed as little more than a stepping stone to something further, something that both encompasses and transcends it's constituent parts, yet in turn creates more potential for dissociation and pathology on the way to a new transcendent larger whole. But, a stepping stone to what ? Global consciousness ?? Whatever that might be. Part of an evolutionary progression from family-tribe, to nation-state, to planetary awareness, then inter-planetary awareness, on to intergalactic awareness. Or a natural dissent into extinction ??
For the most part I no longer feel the aforementioned alienation, it is leaving me. And I certainly feel no primal tie to tribe or nation. Does this mean I'm professing to have obtained such 'global consciousness' ? I think not, any such claim would have to be self evident after the fact, after having shown some reproducible proof to be existent in the 'pudding of global consciousness', urghh, the'Pudding of Global consciousness' guffball, I should have been a children's entertainer.
Anyway, it seems, in the most affluent areas of the planet, a dormant depth of mental instability is ubiquitous. Perhaps something to do with the mass marketing of hyper-consumerism encouraging extreme narcissism, amongst other things.
Well that's all I've go to say para ahora. All advice is foolish, but, if I might be foolish for a little time... Enjoy, but don't be too giddy, never take to sadness for long, be open to unconventional information, opinions and 'paradigms', but don't get into the habit of believing any old 'woo woo' bullshit. Be aware, and exercise that awareness as a practised, honed everyday skill. Life is a comedy, a tragic comedy, one of errors, mirrors, mirages and miracles, don't let it pass you by, but don't chase after it like a lost child chasing dreams mistaken for the real. Fight, fight for your right to exist, grow and be, don't take your existence to be too trivial, but don't take it too seriously, take it is as it is, not how you would wish it to be.