Black Reflecting Mirrors

 

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Stabbed in the back –

Robbed blind –

Held to ransom –

Thrown to the lions

The axioms any top-drawer business person commits to; so as for these axioms to become a credo for life – usually so as to provide a person with a proposed trajectory for professional life – although often they can be committments to a life in general – these axioms are axioms which are identical to those that a mobster racketeer, or a petty criminal, would have to choose to commit to.

At their heart these axioms rest upon the proposition of one as far as possible living one’s life always in one’s own best interest.  This, in the Newspeak of our age, is pledged by such persons to be the core business of life.

I do not want to look into the justifications which such persons muster for them making this life-choice; suffice it to say these justifications are nearly always after-the-fact revetments to the fabric of their tottering integrity.  I do not want to talk about whether or not such a choice actually results in a life which has been lived – successfully in its own terms – but in fact necessarily therefore having been a life lived to one’s own worst interest.  I want to register here only that I believe there is good evidence that a life thus lived is never in a person’s best interest; in fact it has been a waste of life.

I want to draw my readers’ attention to the identity of the axioms entailed in any life choice which avowedly accepts and psychically and exclusively commits to such a near-sighted and self-serving credo.  This is the credo of gangsters and likewise it is the credo of people of business: morally there are no essential separations between their ways of life.  The amounts of damage done; and the relative size of the evils and ills accepted, and to be brought into existence, by the taking up of these erroneous life-choices are of equivalent malignant magnitudes.

These statements are not mere rhetoric; nor are they tropes or exaggerations. They present literal truth; which is able to be demonstrated and supported by convincing evidence.

The traditional allegiance of the mobster is to ‘the family’.  For the people of business it is to their companies. But these commitments are secondary.  Prior to these allegiances having been pledged both the mobster and the company person has weighed-up the opportunities and outcomes likely to arise from deciding to choose to pledged to such an allegiance.  The opportunities and outcomes which such a person, say, a mobster or a business person, foresees arising are not opportunities and outcomes beneficial to the oppressed peoples of the earth, or to the destitute and the lame.

The balance on which the expected prizes to be had are being weighed registers only big and egregious benefits accruing pretty exclusively to oneself. This concupiscence of self is the very core value in such person’s hearts.

It is a bargain struck.  The secondary pledge is to serve the mob or the company; or for the petty crook to cheat, not like Robin Hood, but to adhere to socially destructive crime; all in exchange for that promise of preferment and increase which acts to balance the scale of the secondary pledge. This is the bargain struck.  The mob, the company, the criminal lifestyles, in effect buy the sold-out loyalties of the persons who pledge themselves to them.

One ‘buys-into’ a fraternity; into a society of likeminded persons who have made the same calculations and who have come to the same decisions.  Such a society, fraternity, offers solidarity and ‘family’; it offers a small world wherein what is considered good and bad, right and wrong, safe and unsafe, permissible and forbidden; are mapped out, sometimes encoded  -and written down like the Masons do – so that in effect thinking about self and examining one’s motivations, considering wider and social criticisms, are all foregone and signed-away upon entry to the club.

This bargain made is a primal instance of, and it leads to all sorts of other, corruption.  The badges of these various clubs, fraternities, families, societies, are the items upon which persons who are members build their personal identities. There are for the business aspirant places like the golf fairways and the squash courts; the obligatory lounge suit and tie, the clean cut appearance; coffee, and drinks evenings at functions and hotels; airport executive lounge passes; the working laptop or notebook; doing business on the train/plane etc etc.  The people want to be so, to identify with, to assuage and so assure, to preclude a larger wider mindset and outlook; any passion for doing life better than the roads they have chosen.

The corruption is insidious – and for much of the time goes on behind closed doors within their minds.  Only a few among them – those who are wider awake and who because of this are the most evil ones – who have slashed and burnt their ways to prominence by means foul and fair without differentiation, without concern for  their differentiation – these people are deeply consciously corrupt and do not care that they are so. These are those who pull strings and adjust backdrops and supply props all of which they use to play upon the silly dreams and beggarly hopes of the troupes of camp-followers who have sworn the allegiance, taken the pledge, made the bargain, of a life for a life; the blinkered loyalty and curtailed mental lives of these purblind adopted for the sake of and in exchange for a few pieces of silver; a tasty piece of the pie.  A pie which is in fact, in its own terms, divided up niggardly towards them; and one which is de facto poison for them; and for the string-pullers it is also srtong poison, but one which they have long since practiced and innured themselves into immunity from.

The pie, the poison, is of course dipensed as large sums of money personally sought after, adored, and obtained as a primary good; and such acquisition is ever accompanied by its enervating effects on standards of behaviour; the pie is also a complacent easily-borne insularity which ostracises from the mind and conscience those persons and events which do not impinge for good or evil on one’s personal and local sense of well-being; the pie is a gratuitous willingness to look the other way and so turn a blind eye and so accept the fuzzy deals and duplicitous dealings wherever there is to be seen due advantage or due payment or rabid gain to be made for accommodating such dereliction.

This is not all the pie. There is more.  The pie much of the time is wholesome pie taken from another’s supper board; taken by means of wiles and by the use of treacheries within the law.  The uneducated, insignificant, native guy in only a loincloth who in his late teens is standing waist deep in mud and swamp in the middle of an African mining camp, under the eye of militia men with guns, guerillas who are his foemen and his foremen, and he is digging out rare earths to be sold on world markets and exported for billions of US dollars profit; of which the young loinclothed miner himself sees parings and scrapings of poor food and inadequate shelter, hardly enough to keep him in strength, as the lungs and the eyes fill daily and cumulatively with a dust which will see him old and done for by 30 years of age; whereupon he is dispensed with and another whom he was like once ten years previously, fit and strong takes his place.

Still there sits Dives on his plush cushions in state and opulence and taking of the best material things, foods, raiment, drink, perfumes, women, entertainment, travel, comfort, ease and abundance; whilst at his gates sits Lazarus, chest whistling and eyes diseased, sores and the dogs licking at them.  Over the world today continue to sit proud heedless Dives and at their gates today sit millions of crushed unconsidered Lazaruses, Legion of them.

This is what the aspirant ambitious would-be high-flyer – in business – in the mob – commits to when the life-choice to seek wholly for oneself is embraced by him and the unconscious unconscionable club, society, fraternity, family, of like minded blinkered, insular and insulated, self-satisfied, self-absorbed, initiates them to membership

Every choice a person makes excludes all other alternative choices once it has been accepted by a person. These excluded items of choice are then become merely might-have-beens. The more fundamental the choice, such as a life-choice of the kind we have been speaking about , is one which will come to define whom you are; what you stand for; who and what counts for you – and it will be – in the accepted parlance – formative – that is you will become it and it will become you.

Fundamental life-choices made, then, will exclude all other fundamental life choices which are available; and the knock –ons, the fallouts, the repercussions and concatenations from taking such huge decisions are likewise subsequently and exponentially sprawling and expansive. Such life-choices and their aftermaths are able to define one against one’s will, and stamp one against one’s better judgement; they are able to lock you into a way of life in the way a convict is locked away in a prison cell.  It can be a life sentence.

I appeal to the persons who might have been intimately affected by having read and understood and taken to heart, suffered in the bones, what I have been saying here; he or she who might well ask in desperation: ‘What shall I do to be saved?’

 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”

 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

 

 

 

Scientific Investigation 2

CONTINUED FROM PART ONE: So it is for scientists practically to apply the findings and interpretations of findings from controlled tests done in isolation, to a practical situation  The empirical world asks of them to ‘release into the wild’ these applied findings which have been found by them when, as findings, they were as if ‘a single and just-fertilised animal cell in a womb’.

What is meant by this is that it is a given that nature abhors a vacuum; yet our scientists’ experiments necessarily were carried out in as if in a ‘sanitised vacuum’ as far as was humanly possible at the current stage in scientific development.  Thereafter any results are then applied practically in a bustling free-for all of n-1 phenomena and among the interchanges and conflicts within this n-1 phenomena, and so are being applied to what we call ‘the world’, or ‘real life’, or ‘actual fact’.

Thus scientists are introducing their ‘single cell embryos’ into a ‘world of adult forms’ so to speak.

Now my model in explaining what I mean in this essay has been simple and maybe simplistic – to a point that I have laid out my exposition in an elementary way. But this simple exposition of scientific method I am able to build up a bit more and so introduce some complexity.  I can add one or two factors. Firstly there is a general working interconnectivity of the fragments comprising the scientific understanding we have; and secondly there is an appliance of scientific understanding en bloc; as a philosophy derived from such an interconnected understanding.

These two factors ameliorate to an extent the gravity of the criticisms I am able to make.   Because scientific understanding in its diverse disciplines is generally interconnected, as it is also in inter-disciplinary terms. This means that when one theory of some historical firmness is demonstrated to be false, perhaps by an advance of understanding, that falsified theory is likely to bring down like a house of cards considerable amounts of previous understanding which had been related to and/or dependent on it.

Thus scientific understanding is applicable and is applied in larger units like blocs of interdependencies. These interdependencies add up and accumulate so as to give credence and firmness to their scientific content.  And so the single-cell embryo released into the wild is not wholly an isolated fragile vulnerable animal, but it will have family and relatives, friends and well-wishers – other pieces of blocs of understanding which will support it as a newcomer.

Large blocs of applied understanding, in their use then, represent a probable greater stability in the science comprising them; and usually greater confidence in them accompanies this..

Now, to go back to the experimental stage of a theory, to when we spoke of having to foreknow all the potential interferences so as to be able to get the best vacuum possible for the experiment to take place in; and thus to do our best to eliminate them from, neutralise and account for them, in our results.

Scientific understanding, even when applied in durable blocs and so with a level of confidence, is scientific understanding being applied without any person or group knowing anywhere near the full story in any level of depth about what further untapped understanding else might be ‘out there’ in ‘reality’ undiscovered, undisclosed, and so able to intervene and to interfere ‘in reality’ to our net benefit or to our net detriment.  As the poet said:

‘Our beginnings never know our ends’

My own opinion is that our effort at understanding, in science as elsewhere, the natural world and any other areas of study, is, like St Augustine’s humility, endless.  There have been seen in history too many places where people of science and of other pursuits have unilaterally called time on nature, existence, and knowledge.  There has been hailed in our own age The Global Triumph of Capitalism and a consequent End of History. There is The Death of God.  There has been eminent men in The Royal Society in 18th century London who felt that humanity was nearing its apotheosis in learning, and that for future ages there would be no place further for them to investigate and to reveal.  Bertrand Russell expressed in his writings in the early 20 century that soon all that there was to be known about the natural world shall have been discovered by men (not women?).

There are our science folk heroes of these present days who chase The Philosopher’s Stone of ‘A Theory of Everything’, and who in prejudice preclude so much of that knowledge having been arduously discovered and painstakingly recorded for us in the course of previous ages. In truth, so much of value hits their waste baskets; data which any theory truly pretending to an encompassment of everything should have need to take heed of.

Scientists as Celebrities

A relatively new phenomenon: despite Professor Joad of the 1940s and 1950s British radio and his once famous ‘It all depends what you mean by…. ‘strapline format for his answers

There is a new celebrity come to the door of science and scientists. It is not the enthusiasm of rather bookish schoolboys for faddy science and its purveyors – another phenomenon which like the 1940s and 1950s has long passed away.

Faddish schoolgirls are as much enthusiasts as schoolboys in the post-modern age.  But bookish? No.  Rather, both boys and girls are gadget oriented, and the celebrity of scientists, on British TV and Radio is a thing grown out of the technological success of scientific research and its discoveries.

Whichever way you cut the cake science is seen by most people to have delivered during the late 20th early 21st centuries. The growth and increase in range and power, particularly of gadgets, owned by 95%+ of the populations of the developed world, are the soup de jour and the crème de la crème of science’s everyday contribution to our present lives. These gadgets have impressed us all the more for their handiness and versatility; their actual personal usefulness and their abilities which are used in the course of everyday business and social life.

Like Autolycus, or else like Aladdin’s Wicked Sorcerer, science has offered us ‘knickknacks and gewgaws’, or else ‘new lamps for old’; and has placed shiny new objects in our hands for us to ogle. At the same time it has taken away from us something of much more treasure.

The desire to ‘shoot the messenger’ works backwards also; and we like to fete and celebrate the bringers of glad news.  This seems to explain a good deal of why scientists are now so often of celebrity status here in the UK – because they have handed us the goods.

Like children, whose candy has been taken from us, by a set of kindly adults, who have substituted a few McDonalds toys, for us to play with instead, we are well pleased with the exchange – although we might have missed the fact that the candy we lost was our nourishment and sustenance, and that it has indeed been spirited from us?

So we accept the toys and celebrate the scientists who have provided them: they are undiluted good news.

Reciprocally the scientists accept and take up the role with some agreeable relish; appearing in the television and radio engagements on game shows and quizzes and on chat shows and special-guest slots.  Some few of the younger ones might become pin-ups – if that term is understood?  Centrefold glamour

At these media appearances the scientists reveal themselves to be human and accessible like many of us ordinary people are; only they carry with them the glamorousness and faddishness of their reputations in general and in particular – as being of the genre scientist, and as being of the specimen, rockstar.

Because they are made welcome and sought after they oblige us by displays of learning and knowledge.  Mixed into their knowledge and learning their common foibles and fallibilities carry to listeners and viewers, of whom few have eyes to see and ears to hear them.  (All of us, every one of us as persons are silly creatures nursing a range of idiocies we own to believing or sympathising with)

The unlucky thing is that having a certain aura of status and glamour the prejudices and assumptions of our popular scientists obtain a standing of validity and reasonableness, which is obtained from our willingness to sit at their feet regardless.

And so it is that popular myths and fallacies are promulgated and evangelised and enfranchised by way of our own glad imputation of a doubtful authority.  Indeed many items of thought and speech which our celeb scientists offer us as food for our minds, belong in fact in disciplines and fields in which they hold no especial qualification or expertise. But we, like the gullible fish with the fisherman’s shiny spinner, swallow it whole and are caught on a hook of misprision.

The insidious flatteries of fame and celebrity; of people telling you you’re the best so often, offer temptations to their subjects for them to start believing they really are ‘the bees knees’ and a ‘star turn’.  And so opinions become dogmas and aspirations and privileges become rights due, and so on.

The scientists are just as liable to fall for this self-aggrandisement as are any of us – they are part of a general we, and this we involves us all; and all of us are no different from one another in most regards. Thus our celebrity scientists have been given a platform whereupon they have been placed as the guys who know what makes the world (and the people?) tick; and why the earth goes round and round and illumines every day.  They probably feel almost obliged to speak on things and issues which they can in  fact know little of, simply because the chalice placed at their lips carries in its liquor an obligation which we their listeners and viewers are forcing them to drink – so that we expect such wisdom thereof from them.

Thus the celebrity scientists proffer a small bag of allsorts as their answers to the overwhelming questions of life and existence.  This means that, we, their listeners and viewers, get short changed, and in return for our treasure of homage we are offered and we accept a box of mixed toffees or a bunch of fruit chews (Something about a birthright and a mess of pottage here?)

This seems to be all very natural and human in its circumstances and its development; even right down to the smugness with which the cock-sure cosmologies and neurologies and epistemologies are purveyed in our celebrity scientists’ shop windows; and right down to the blind presumptions and casual assumptions made in them also.

(Because a guy is able to install your media centre for you does not mean he has the answers to the microphysics and phenomenology which allow it to be, and to function)

But it is natural for us all to fall into line with what is expected of us and even for us to become self-assured that much more and more as we repeat ourselves and so offer the same routines and assurances of supposed fact again and again; to a following who waits on us.  (I guess I would have done it myself except I don’t have a following.)

But so – nonetheless we go away believing what is not the truth – believing there is a limit to knowledge and to the extent of life and being – believing certain possibilities are excluded upon sound rational grounds – believing that our gadgets and technological conveniences are some of the best joys we can obtain from our lives – and that metaphysics and theosophy are Grimm’s Tales or Perrault’s Stories – entertainments for children; as well as for those adults who are enamoured by rose petals and glow-glitter.

McDonalds once would give away small toys – some quite intricate and ingenious – with every ‘Happy Meal’ – an entity which a friend of mine called sullenly ‘a misnomer’ – and these toy items were distributed in their billions during their time.  Many died or were lost; but a market in collectibles has grown up around them since here in the UK, and most of those which remain intact hold a keepsake value to them in money terms. Try to look at this sequence of events for McDonalds toys as a parable.

The foibles and fancies of the celebrity scientists will linger on in certain heads; and will be passed mouth to mouth, word for word, to others, who also will keep them tenderly as their creed, and as their justifications for their lives and their life-choices.  And yet these foibles and fancies were merely a bunch of giveaways offered as an inducement to buy a set of fallible guys’ sense of their celebrity

Following the Leader – The Gratification in Opinion Forming

‘The blind men

Make the rules

For the wise men

And the fools

It’s alright ma, it’s life and life only’  (Bob Dylan)

Those who write up Press Releases do so for the sake of their company, industry, organisation or administration.  Few Press Releases claim to come from individuals as their publishers.

Being certain ‘safe pairs of hands’ in the entities which commission such Press Releases; they are commissioned to write on subjects like crime detection and crime prosecution for instance, or product news; and are entrusted by those entities whom they represent with presenting in the most favoured way those entities’ interests in and purposes for publishing these Releases.

There is a style peculiar to writing them, and it is largely formulaic: and it is so, so as for the Releases to keep safely on the beaten path. These formulae are adhered to generally.

Thus there are usually found several ‘bottom lines’ in any Press Release published.  These ‘bottom lines’ are couched often in the form of quotations from a person or persons in authority at the entity commisioning publication.  Sober sentences are preached so as to act to reinforce the general drift of the story content of a Release, as it were to point a moral from it; and to steer a reader into absorbing certain views upon this story content.

For a Press Release issued by Police there might be a bottom line from the Police Commissioner. It might often assure the public that the Police are good at doing their job. For a company its bottom line might come from the MD and might be a ‘bigging up’ of the company products mentioned in the Release. It might aim to assure readers of them getting a great deal and massive satisfaction should they buy any of them. And so on.

Often, even usually, a Police Commissioner or an MD never see what they are quoted to have said in these items. Their words are ‘ghosted’ by their trusty personnel who have been trained in ‘Opinion Forming’.

There’s a certain amount of vicarious power delegated to Press Release writers in this way; a power by which these writers get a sense of enjoying the writing and publication of them.  There is a (slightly juvenile) feeling that one is a trusted person in such high things; things which are so essential to one’s masters’ welfare; there is a vicarious but cheap delight in laying down bottom lines which one knows are there only to steer readerships and propagate hype.

In this way persons with ambitious spirits within a company or organisation are fed and nurtured up in toadyism; and so tamed to become pet rabbits of their superiors and pawns in their pockets.  It is then a double-edged, and back-handed power.  Opinion Formers willingly fulfil these propaganda roles for their social superiors; and so help them keep a grip on their vast turfs

Newspapers and other media dealing with current affairs (also there are ‘ordinary’ TV programmes like NCIS in USA, and A Touch of Frost in UK which indulge likewise) are employing the same kinds of ‘opinion forming’ in the content of their copy and scripts.

In part, behind this tactic lies a fear: that the mass of people will drift away from the norm and so become disaffected, they might end up defecting from the status quo and so begin causing problems (for the elites) in society.  And so, to support and reinforce the status quo (which is all hyped propaganda compiled by their lackey Opinion Formers) becomes a work of self-preservation for them.

Another aspect of this Opinion Forming are its ‘what we have we hold’ designs. The proprietors of newspapers together with their senior teams, plus the heads of news and current affairs on TV and Radio channels, have all of them vested interests in retaining an elevated, not to say privileged, position in the world.  Naturally they will be inclined to work others as their pet Opinon-formers so as for themselves to maintain this special status.  Thus it follows that the line of least resistance to these guys, for them to succeed in their aims, will be to keep things within a narrow orthodoxy and not allow any examination to press too hard and so unearth any blemishes or rocky places. Blemishes or rocky places being items off limits because these are the issues where their own unreported, unreportable, salacious goings-on of are able to occur unhampered.

This elevated section of society will come out and say that it does considerable work at the cutting-edge of social criticism and under-cover, investigative journalism. This may be true superficially, and selectively, but deep digging for real dirt is avoided in regard to matters of fundamental self-interest to this elite. This preserves its special status and privileges.  The matters which this elite chooses to pay lip service to, but which it avoids stirring up too far, are glozed over with palliative and soporific anodynes. Thus arise populist campaigns which go nowehere in fact. Issues are bandied about like having more equitable wealth distribution, wider access to education; better chances of opportunity. These apparently urge changes regarding quality of life and for higher life aspirations; but in actuality are precluded dead ducks.

This scandal remains a national indictment. Yet these poncy haves believe narcissically that they own just rights to exclusive use of and joy from such boons; and they usually presume under a title that they have ‘earned’ their opportunities, their educations, their elevated positions. Yet the mass of sociological data just does not support these fabrications of theirs.

These guys claim their places in life and employ their herds of opinion formers across society, using usurped social standings and arrogated privileges so as to manipulate the greater public; who are their avowed professional regard and whom they state they serve.

Everything is so very cosy.  So that even many of the persons abused by this state of affairs bristle up and rouse to offence and anger at a suggestion of the reality of such travesties.  It is as if there are many persons – some of the same mind as those who decry and vilify people in need as ‘benefits scroungers’ – who themselves have formed a habitual dependency upon and gratuitous income from their stereotyped professions. Professions of ‘steady as she goes’ and ‘all in this together’ vomitted by their endless streams of Opinion-Forming Press Releases and bottom lines.

The general drift of Opinion-Forming has been ostensibly to meet the concerns and insecurities of ordinary people. It has done this by its use of a bland and comfort-blanket assurance-after-assurance that things – like the way we organise ourselves and how look after one another – are done fundamentally as they ought to be and are running more or less as they should.  Much play is made by Opinion Formers on ‘push buttons’– by which they thrust down one’s throat phrases like ‘liberal democracy’, ‘meritocracy’,  ‘parliamentary debate’, and ‘social diversity’ and ‘multiculturalism’ and so on.  Their assertions in their propagandas wherein these opinion formers pepper such terms here and there, hope to create Pavlovian conditioned responses in ordinary persons. These ‘push button’ phrases are reiterated by them so as for them to work on and so hold in thrall the feckless masses. It amounts to a conscious and insincere premeditated duplicity.

It is not as if the persons in the media are not conscious of what they are doing in their arts of opinion forming.  The effects of their cunnings are very like those derived from our extolled child-centred policies by which so much misguided education and educational theory goes on with children in our schools. This concept of child-centredness to much affects the charges on whom it is practiced, in the same ways as do the drones of opinion formers the ordinary person. The general effects act to delimit unnecessarily that range of experience which is possible and beneficial to the unlucky ones absorbed in their coils.

A sugared misguided and complacent sense of certainty and assurance is foisted by these stratagems; it is one which deprives people (including children) from enjoying actual engagement with, psychic rapport with, what Wordsworth appositely termed ‘the essential passions of the heart’.  Hence, just as our children are now used to refusing fresh wholesome hot loaves of bread because such bread is not cellophane wrapped but instead has come unwrapped fresh from an oven; so too, there are too many of our adult public who will not accept as fact, because they have been obfuscated from understanding, that their own states are ones of deprivation and unnecessary restriction – and that it is these things which are trivialising and demeaning their lives.

Some opinion formers feel that they are doing their bests for the flock of the public; whom they presume are not up to such an understanding, or else are unable to withstand it were such an understanding forced upon them.  This is presumption of course and it means that this section of opinion formers considers in itself that it does understand, and it is itself is able to withstand. Thus this group must necessarily consider itself to be (part of) an elevated elite, and maybe sometimes considers itself a natural elite.

This jerrymandering, of course cuts to the root and bole of liberal democracy, and tarnishes its holy mantra of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’. It seems that some of us are thought best to be held in chains for our own sakes.

 

 

 

Hype as the Baited Hook

‘UK creative industries are a tremendous contributor to economic growth, adding £8.8m per hour to the UK economy. The onset of the knowledge era has given way to what has been coined ‘The Creative Economy’, and this new economy is quickly beginning to outpace the once gargantuan industrial dependent economies of the West. According to John Howkins “America exports more value in terms of copyright, than food, soft drinks, cars, computers and planes, and Britain’s fashion industry employs more people and makes more money than do its steel or car industries.”

Click the download button to get your copy of: The Rise Of The Creative Economy Report’

Here we have what might be called a synthesis of strands of hype, neatly packaged up into a parcel; just like the dud bonds Bankers passed between themselves so as to ‘create value’ and which led straight to the 2008 crash

This is a blurb for a report on the creative economy. The blurb bigs up the report; but it does not say:

What makes John Howkins relevant and worth citing?

What is the authority behind this report?

The name of the author of the report

Any caveats about the large claims made

There is a scenario where the wife or husband snatches a repair job from a spouse’s fumbling hands whilst shouting: ‘Here! Let me do it!’  This is a familiar illustration of the results of mounting frustration. There are implicit assumptions behind such frustrations boiling within the snatcher’s temper, which risen to boiling point, then proceeds to boil over. The illustration of ‘Here! Let me do it!’ is interestingly relevant to the kind of assumption of authority made by organisations and by persons who feel blithely that they have a right to offer others advice and information.  As, lordly, they offer this information and advice from on high above, they inevitably feel free to colour it in the ways they see fit.

It is possible to train oneself to restrain oneself so as not to feed the demons of  this itch of ‘knowing best’ which is the fuel for ending-up boiling over with frustration.

The novelist Sir Walter Scott memorably said to a friend who asked him to endorse a book the friend has written; ‘Every herring should hang by its own head’. I think Sir Walter meant that he believed people should try to support their own ventures, make their own calls and judgements, bear with their own mistakes and approve their own successes.  And I might add – people should do this so as to learn from the experience of facing head-on the consequences of our life decisions in this way?  This is my take on life; I make no bones, although for anyone of us to keep to it is the great difficulty

With children mothers and fathers are there to shelter them and to nurture them and to be their guides as they are growing up. Classically parents can have difficulty ‘letting go’ when their children reach majority.  In part this is because it gives parents a sense of purpose to continue to tie their children to the apron strings even though the time has come when most parental purpose has in fact edged away. In part also it is because parents refuse to see that their babies are no longer in need of protective parental assistance.

Of course no parent would or should stand by and watch their grown children make horrendous mess-ups because of their lack of life experience. But ‘letting go’ is for parents an essential in the main, so that grown children are enabled to become fit to function as adults and able to look after themselves. And also it is important for them themselves to become responsible parents. Otherwise a person gets to thirty-something and turned into a couch potato who is unable to boil an egg.

These lines of consequence go very far towards justifying Sir Walter Scott in his opinion.

The central concern in these cases of ‘letting go’ is to do with freedom.  Freedom is always blank page, and is always going to be a blank page.  And for persons unused to writing down their thoughts, a blank page is often a very scary item, almost a brick wall, when they are being asked and expected to fill the page with words.

The blank page is a horror show; it is the future as an inexperienced person is unable to see it. Most young persons have a mountain of learning to cope with and to climb to the summit of.  Their futures as blank pages are like vast drops seen from cliff edges and themselves standing on the verge of the drop and staring into it. Vertigo is a commonplace response.

So, freedom for a person is not so much a God-given right, as it is something to be earned and maintained by their own efforts.  Freedom in the main is freedom to do things; and so it follows that not knowing how to do things is a restriction; a form of enslavement. Hence you hear people speak the ugly and grossly misused phrase: Knowledge (and experience) is Power.  It might be better said that: Knowledge and experience releases, frees from Enslavement.

The terrible need that we are born with to tussle amongst the crowd and so promote ourselves; for our security and for our safety, so that we might control as much scope and as many things and persons as we are able to; so that in our supremacy we might lord-it over whomsoever will allow us to push them aside and around. Once in such a position we soon learn to value ourselves above those we can push around, and to base our identity and our sense of our due place and rights, on this assumption of superiority; we learn soon to denigrate those who seem resigned only to serve;  we even view with an awe and respect the expansive guy with the big expensive limousine who cruises down the street; and contrariwise, we disparage in our hearts the little guy with the beat up run-around wreck because he accepts his apparent lack of status.  All these presumptuous airs and graces arise in us out of our sense of the primacy of the ego, and it is our sense of ourselves as contenders, and the pressures of our fears and anxieties about the possibility of coming well-behind in the race of life – which control us and the ways in which we see our lives.

This composite package of fears, hopes and perceptions create in us a complex of delusion. This complex of delusion is writ large and perceptible in the above-cited preamble to The Rise of the Creative Economy.  Now read it again, in the light of what you have absorbed from my words. Consider now whether you see in it its insane self-appointed auto-aggrandised preposterousness. The place that this preamble is coming from; the place whereabouts it is at; and whereabouts it is heading; are places all constrained and confronted by this anxiety complex to be somebody and not to be left behind trodden upon by the foremost madmen in the crowd. It is a misplaced bid for freedom, sought after by way of attempting assertion of dominion over others etc.

All of this hectic folly is why the God of Love, Jesus Christ, so potently hits the nail on the head when he talks of our need for ‘being reborn of the spirit’; of us needing to be ‘as a little child so as to be able to enter the Kingdom of God’; of us needing to realise that we are being ‘provided for in our every everyday need by our Father in Heaven’; of our coming to see that we need not be ‘asking for fine raiment and possessions as the gentiles seek for’; but that we can find real peace and truth by our modestly ‘trusting to God and leaving completely our desires, our safety, our security in his hands’. And by us merely trusting in him that ‘asking in prayer anything that is the will of Love, it shall be given liberally’.

To be able to handle the very frightening blank pages of life; and to an outsider one such blank page is often perceived to be Jesus’ unconditional offer of love and care to us; a person really only has to pledge to take a single giant leap for a woman or man; or as the poet TS Eliot put it:

….. to apprehend
The point of intersection of the timeless
With time, is an occupation for the saint—
No occupation either, but something given
And taken, in a lifetime’s death in love,
Ardour and selflessness and self-surrender.

 ………………………………

A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

Jesus’ simple truths hold within them ample answers to everything: ‘whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it ‘- ‘I am come to give life; and to give life in abundance’

Crucially, it is the will to lose oneself, to forgo one’s ego and one’s pride, to surrender all completely and with full trust and commitment up to The Lord Jesus; and thereafter to honour his teachings, which are the keys to life, through a door of renunciation