imaginary friend wrote:Dear Boss,
Your post recalled all the distrust I had as a kid for that god who seemed so stern and full of anger and vengeance. I pictured him perpetually frowning with his unibrow – Blake's Urizen! I much preferred Jesus' example, blessing the peacemakers and forgiving his enemies and turning the other cheek. Sure there are rich people who are selfish and greedy, there are also many who are the opposite, just as there are poor people with the same problems/qualities. The main thing is, whoever we are, and whatever our circumstances, we have a choice.
Carlos Casteneda articulated it best for me:
One day, Don Juan, the Man of Power and Carlos, his 'apprentice' were hiking a rugged path in rural Mexico. They were walking through a deep, narrow ravine, single file. Don Juan was a few steps ahead, when Carlos, noticing that his shoelace was undone, knelt for a moment to tie it. Suddenly, a large boulder dislodged above him, and came crashing down a few inches in front of Carlos. Shaken, he climbed over the boulder and joined Don Juan, who told him: 'Today you cheated death, because you stopped to tie your shoelaces at the right moment, and that act saved your life. Tomorrow you may be walking in another ravine, stop to tie your shoelaces at the wrong moment, and a boulder comes crashing down on top of you and crushes you. You have absolutely no control over this, neither today nor tomorrow. The only thing you have control of in either situation, is the tying of your shoelaces. Be sure you tie them impeccably.'
Imaginary Friend, there is a four year old boy in Malawi orphaned because his parents died of AIDS. He doesn’t have any fucken shoes to do up the laces! And there’s a homeless eleven year old girl in Bangkok selling herself on the streets tonight to some fat Western tourist. She too goes barefoot. What can these kids ‘choose’? To fly to Ireland and watch Leonard?
As we write our sweet poetry or suck the guts out of Goethe or speak of cute stories about Don Juan and Carlos or indeed are intoxicated in Leonard Cohen’s mind, the whole world burns. Don’t give me this rubbish about rich people being nice – if they were nice they’d eradicate poverty. We are hypocrites! And you know it - talking of justice and honour and such. Karl Marx once wrote that the more you have
, the more alienated you become from your real self; the less you are
He was right. In our obscene wealth, what ‘are’ we? A bunch of critics wondering who said it best, who is intelligent or clever or talented? Are we happy getting drunk every night on red wine? Aren’t we sick of looking for the perfect orgasm, the perfect kitchen table, the perfect life? We are deluded, we are bored, we are greedy, we are lost.
We could be so much more.