Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Space (outer)

Today has actually been busy for me, literally all work and no play (besides watching Neighbours as usual) all day, but that is a good thing really especially as I just finished the 1500 word main essay for my postal course which is just about to be sent off.

Otherwise I am pushed back to whatever is in the present as little is going on around any corner now, so I can't look ahead to anything. I did just hear the Nissan Cube is actually intended to come to the UK in a couple of years, finally giving us a reasonably original car previously restricted to the Japanese market. The delay is so they can make a lighter and more economical version as we are so poor here in comparison to there! Not a retro with a grille and round headlights, but with the mobile dustbins we get otherwise anything different is a bonus.

One obvious insight I realised from Nick's awareness practice is that whatever you are watching, it's separate from your clear awareness. It's irrelevant if you're watching almost nothing or full-on noise and activity, as the awareness itself is always empty. By turning your attention to allow that side to dominate you are still aware of everything outside, but more focused on the space than the filling, which is actually what appears to be enlightenment. As simple as that. Just a shift of emphasis, if you leave the dominance of activity to the unchanging peace behind it, you realise that is what you have been searching for. I can see that for a second when I look, but clearly we have to retrain our attention to dominate on the space rather than the activity. But now unless I'm miles off message my mind has seemed to grasp the concept as a simple reality.

Well, one by one previously normal but potentially stressful situations are popping up in my life which are testing the effectiveness of my tablets. They seem close but if necessary will just be upping the dosage. One thing I am discovering is many more people with my similar problem. One expert says it's stress from living in an intolerable environment, ie London, and as it has got worse every decade of my life it's not surprising more and more people are succumbing to its corrosive effects on our comfort. Panic, anxiety and fight and flight responses to normal situations are apparently spreading the civilised world, probably because in fact it's not very civilised at all.
Take the middle ages, no sanitation, no medical treatments to speak of, no decent housing except for the aristocracy etc, let alone the almost forced ability to travel short distances for most. Nowadays we look back and think how lucky we are to have everything we do. Yes. A population tens of times larger than before. The necessity to travel a day's journey (if by horse) to get to work or the shopping mall, food poisoned by chemicals to keep it cheap, make it last and grow bigger. People herded onto trucks the same way they were in the concentration camps, but not once in order to meet their murder, but twice a day, called 'commuting'. Are you getting the picture? For every advantage we've traded a disadvantage. Balance has been lost. Since the 1950s when the wartime rationing ended, Britain (all I know) recovered its prosperity, normal people began to afford cars and houses, and London expanded into silly places twenty miles and more beyond where most of the residents worked. That was probably the beginning of the decline, as there was no corresponding shift of the workplaces to follow the shifting residents. Weird and wonderful villages such as Carpenders Park, Oxhey, Hatch End and the like were being covered with housing, all connected by crawling railway lines to Central London, and at no time did it occur to anyone that (unlike in Los Angeles, the only example I know on earth) because people were moving out of the city, maybe the offices should be where people now lived?

Our roads aren't crammed with traffic solely through overpopulation, in fact London's lost a million people since its peak. It's just people have moved so far away that they spend longer on the road to get to work every day. And worse still nearly all are going in the same direction. Town planning? What's that? Something they teach here but do abroad (except for new towns like Milton Keynes, which appear to have been designed to get people accustomed for hell).
So, modern life with all its civilisation is making people ill. Fancy that! Progress? No, totally uncontrolled and unplanned chaos. Just come to Brent if you want to see it. Not that long ago this was in the country and not even part of London. There may still be some wonderful places round here, but try getting from one to another, and if you're lucky enough to miss the traffic, park your car when you get there, and then wait in a shop for service. Unfortunately 46 years on the same patch shows you many changes and my friend who returned after 3 years in the States in 2005 could already see things had got even worse. And the world's population is growing at an exponential rate (unlike its temperature which is one area to try and divert our attention from the real pernicious loss of resources and space from overpopulation and depletion of fuel reserves) so sooner or later you'll get the same situations arising we have here now in Alaska, Patagonia, the Falklands and even the jolly old Isle of Wight. And before it reaches there every city on earth will go the same way as human nature appears not to change so birth rates will continue to rise.

I don't care personally as I already live in that environment and see others reacting to it much as I do one by one. And I won't be here when it's become worldwide and there are traffic jams stretching from Rome to Pisa as well as London to Birmingham on a daily basis. But maybe if the people not yet affected by it should look at the diabolical conditions in what used to be the centre of the world's civilisation called London not that long ago, and think if their own relative paradise could follow our example unless something changes. If even one employer considers moving their premises to the edge of town from the centre things will start to shift. The United nations should shift their emphasis on promoting Islam to promoting birth control as much of the world still believes the more children they have the better. We even see some in little crocodiles trailing behind their mothers in Kingsbury after their family has decided their own country isn't safe/rich/clean/cold enough for them and they transplant the lot to Brent. Nothing to do with being racist, it simply means I can see it first hand by witnessing what must also be the case in the countries they came here from, and the blind attitudes that drive overcrowding by attraction to areas people imagine are paradise and the locals would often be only to pleased to leave, and torch before they did to save anyone else the ordeal of living there. I only pick up on Brent as I am here and can't close my eyes and whistle pretending nothing's wrong like the politicians do. It's because they do that I can't, as if we all follow their lead it'll become like Soviet Russia with queues for basic rations, little private transport, restrictions for all public services and freedoms and almost impossible to travel anywhere without being very rich or very patient. We're half way there already, technically Brent is one of the most overcrowded boroughs in Britain, and we are only leading the example where Britain will gradually follow.

Please can I get a job with the Daily Mail now?


Anonymous said...

you should use commas more often in your sentences as it gets a little hard to read after a while. My brain ran out of breath in places. On the whole though I agree entirely. Not sure if TB would though.....

Sharon said...

Extremely well worded. And 100% the truth. "For every advantage we've traded a disadvantage. Balance has been lost." And in the end we are all paying the price for the convenience of living this way. I for one think the price is too high.

With writing like that you deserve a job with the Daily Mail!

David said...

Sorry about the commas, I was in full flow, I was in a rush and clearly didn't have a chance to check it.
I will try and pace myself better in future!