This poet is magnificent.
WOW! No words to do this piece of prose/poetry justice. Just stunning.
As I once again enter the depression cycle I take a moment to reflect on why I am unable to sustain feelings of optimism and hope. I only write this because I think it may be helpful to others like me who struggle to maintain a sense of purpose and equilibrium in a world that only rewards the rich and successful and recognised and dare I say, conventional.
The world is mad.
The world is mad. Wealth is so lionised that people have forgotten their moral and empathic nature in its pursuit. True enough, money does offer choices and begets opportunities but for those of you who have plenty of it spare a thought for the ones whose worth is greater than your money and for whom the constant grinding struggle to shine and have a shot at life abrades all sense of hope and faith.
Faith as most people see it is a religious principle and gets topped up on weekends in prayer, chant or mantra. It’s not springing fresh from an inner well of certainty in this superimposed hypnotic repetition of empty cants. It is a drug and drugs only alter the mind for a brief space of time. They are a waste of resources and time. Drugs don’t work.
So, to find the kind of hope that sustains we must look elsewhere and be clear-eyed about it. I have been rich and I have been poor and my feelings of hope were not in direct correlation with my bank account or lifestyle. My sense of self-worth was balanced on my ability to push through my own barriers and achieve excellence in my chosen field: the Arts in the form of literature, composition and lyrics. In the past whenever I have written something I have been thrilled with, I’ve been filled with a sense of wellbeing and a connectedness to a grander ordinance of being that can only be intuited as Divine. The emptiness that preludes despair and depression is temporarily filled with a sense of harmonic infrastructure. I really don’t know how else to describe the sense that what I am creating is somehow building pathways into the future. For a few wonderful days or hours I know I will one day make a difference. But then despair as human reality sets in and I am faced with an inbox full of rejections and cynical bids to extract money from me. If I want my work to reach a wider audience it’s going to cost me, I am told. In short I not only have to create superior work, I also have to pay for the privilege of sharing it with the world. The message I receive loud and clear is that my magnificent hard-won offerings in the form of books, lyrics, librettos and occasionally, music, are worth nothing, which means I am worth nothing.
I have no value.
I am not the first artist who has felt this way and unless the world wakes up SOON I won’t be the last. But the world needs to ask itself if the cost of discouraging people who are forging connective pathways between heaven and earth for others to use is worth the price. Think about it for a moment. How many other people out there are struggling with feelings of futility, hopelessness and loss? How many people are finding religion empty and politics corrupt and the imbalance of wealth, opportunity and assets so overwhelming that a permanent grip of despair takes hold and suffocates what remains of their hope?
Refine your dream for a moment. Is success measured in dollars and cents? Or is it measured by excellence and the difference you can make?
If it isn’t the latter then rethink.
You are here on earth to achieve EXCELLENCE and make a difference to one, some or many. EXCELLENCE is the first cause and driving principle of life. The side effect of your achieving excellence is inspiring others who are watching and wondering if this path of yours is THE WAY. It is the WAY. It’s the only way. But here’s the rub. Everybody wants to make money and too many honour that drive to the exclusion of all else. Money cannot be the end of Art but too many theatres, publishing houses, Art galleries, dance companies, music makers and architects etc are fostering second-rate inauthentic faddish people over genius and it’s destroying not only the arts, but also FAITH. Yes, it is that big and that important. If Art dies so too does the spirit. Religion can never replace Art as a conduit to heaven. It’s done very well escorting people to hell but heaven is full of team players, healers, mystics, visionaries, artists, saviours and creatives not paedophiles and terrorists.
Now, I realise that people and artistic institutions need to make money. So, here’s my suggestion: use the commercial money-making pap to support a sliver of programmed genius. Consider it your duty to posterity to allow genius a voice before the masses realise its worth. But having said that don’t under-estimate the public. It many cases it was the public who recognised genius long before the corporate bean counters. To cite but a few it was in the Beer Houses that Mozart won moderate acclaim. It was the public who decided they adored Van Gogh. Pity they didn’t do it in his lifetime and it’s the public who maintain the sales and veracity of classical genius in all its forms today.
The onus is on the institutions currently refusing to take risks on unknown genius for fear of losing money to raise the bar, pre-empt future recognition and facilitate enlightenment.
But genius is frightening and beyond the reach of most people. OR IS IT?
The religious principles set out by Jesus are beyond the reach of everyone – turn the other cheek, forgive your enemies, let he who is without sin cast the first stone, the love of money is the root of all evil. Nobody I know follows these principles but many people I know claim to be Christians. They’re not. They just go to Church looking for a top-up of their faith. But that doesn’t alter the fact that Jesus was a genius whose teachings are solid and helpful. It’s just the corporate money-grubbing religion that grew out of his teachings that is unhelpful and dangerously inhibiting.
So, let’s imagine we’ve banished religion and politics and stripped the rich of their surplus wealth. Now on this level playing field let’s try an experiment. Let every human being decide how best to serve their soul. If they could do anything at all barring murder, rape and theft and any other anti-social behaviour, let’s provide the training and the means to follow their dream. The end reward is not money but EXCELLENCE. To whom do people look for guidance in the pursuit of personal excellence? To the ones who have built those bridges between heaven and earth and shown the way, to the geniuses who have demonstrated commitment to their calling. And let’s assume there is no other path available now but your own chosen path. I guarantee that every step taken will fill you with a sense of self-worth and joy. Some may never reach genius but most will.
Most will and therein lies an end to emptiness and despair. For this is where heaven meets earth.
What a change we would see if people were supported to be the best they could be without the stigma of poverty and rejection imposed on them by a world that has truly lost its WAY.