I know that there are chains. I can feel them and here them and at times I can taste them. There seems not another living soul but me who can notice these chains- but I will not allow their limited perception to make me mad. I know that the chains are there and not a single soul can change my mind. No spiritual guru or psychotherapist can convince me that there is no shackle wrapped around my ankles and no chains dragging behind my feet. They are there and this is an unarguable fact- but what can be done about this “condition” is certainly up for discussion.
I only confess this “condition” of mine because I have notice that I share it with my fellow human kind. Every place I go and upon every one I know I can see these shackles and chains dangling from wrists, ankles and sometimes neck. The individual who is wrapped in chains seems seldom to realize that they are walking around with a great weight. Rather they stay distracted by preoccupations that seems to anesthetize any feeling of physical bondage. Is not this the role of modern technological gadgets (television, ipods, computers, cars and on and on), to make us numb? I am uncertain what is to be done, because when I talk about my chains with colleagues over coffee- I receive nothing but a blank stare that seems to suggest that I may be crazy. The more time I spend at work or thinking about the world- the more I can feel the weight of my chains.
I am not the first to mention this “condition.” The French religious philosopher Pascal did so as well. He wrote “we live between the weight of shackles, seldom aware that they restrict not only our physical bodies but also our spiritual aspirations.” I have visited with many spiritual counselors and healers in regards to my “condition.” I have been counseled by the best and the answer is always the same. “Yes, we live in chains- but it is the physical body which is contained. We can choose to be free in our thought by not getting attached to anything, by remaining free from thought.” How can I not think? This is the question that I always ask. I love thinking and trying to understand the nature of existence is what I do for a living (unpaid). I have worked hard to develop the quality of thoughts that I have- even if they often cause me a great deal of suffering. I have refined my thoughts by reading and writing religiously. Thought is the one great enjoyment that I indulge in every day. How I am supposed to live without thoughts when thought is the one thing that makes me feel civilized?
“Do not attach to your thoughts. Do not identify with your thoughts- just let them pass away into the universe. Everything is impermanent…even your shackles and chains,” one spiritual guru told me when I went out to his farm for an hour session. I spent over a hundred dollars to be counselled in how to break free from my thoughts. “It is your thought that creates the chains and it is your thoughts that can set you free,” were his final words to me. Granted, when I left the farm I felt lighter- less inconvenienced by my chains. I was out of the city, in nature and for the first time in a while I felt as if I could breathe. I was confused by what I was told by the spiritual guru- but I ascertained a glimmer of hope that I could be free. The moment I walked through the front door of my home and saw a credit card bill, phone bill, and insurance bill awaiting me upon my table- the great weight returned. I felt the chains slowly wrapping themselves around my wrists and ankles like a serpent. They worked their way up towards my neck and threatened to cut off my oxygen. As I walked towards the bathroom I kept on telling myself “do not think about it, do not think!!”- but my attempts were futile because the loud sound of the chains dragging along on the hardwood hallway floor convinced me that they are real.
Since I have been blogging for the past six months I have noticed that something very strange has happened to my sex life. It has vanished. Prior to blogging I was certainly not blessed with a prolific sex life- but it was alive. I was able to recall what sex felt like and I never went more than a week without some kind of sexual encounter. I was interested in sex and sought it out almost on a daily basis. I thought about it and imagined various pornographic scenarios in the back stages of my mind. It would be fair to say that I was a rather normal guy who suffered the same affliction as most other men- I was obsessed with sex. But since I began blogging, something has happened. My lust has dissipated like mist in the early afternoon. My sex life has vanished and there is no trace of it to be found.
I have done some research on this ailment that I have been suffering from and what I have found has not been encouraging. Spending long hours blogging can induce what is referred to as Mortotonia, which is a depletion of the sexual hormones in the brain. Also another interesting bit of information that I have run up against time and time again is that blogging can make an individual anti-social and introverted, which has a tendency to depress ones over all sexual drive. All of this makes sense to me but I still can’t understand why I have absolutely no interest in sex. I used to love pornography and now I am repulsed by it. Semen which never bothered me before is now as disgusting to me as chronic eczema. I am so uninterested in women that my wife is beginning to wonder if I may be gay.
I have spent the past few weeks trying to tell my wife that my lack of interest in sex is nothing personal against her. Her concern about the possibility that I am gay is as ridiculous as her feeling that I am no longer attracted to her. “You are a beautiful woman, whom I am terribly in love with,” I tell her over and over but the minute I reject her attempts to make love to me she bursts out in tears and lamentations. How is it that I am to explain that the reason for my lack of sex drive is because of my habitual blogging habits? Blogging has destroyed my sexual appetites but she would never believe this, she would only think that I have lost what little sense I have left. But the truth is that blogging has destroyed my sexual interests. It has reduced my sensual experience down to the feeling of the key board against my finger tips. The only way I seem to feel aroused any more is when I receive comments for the posts that I have written or when my blog stats display that more than a hundred people have viewed my writings that day. My whole life in fact has been reshaped by my need to blog. Various friendships I once had have diminished and I am no longer interested in the social engagements that were once such fun for me. Sometimes I wonder if my wife was not far from the truth when she yelled at me the other day that “I have become as lifeless as a blog.” I have been thinking about this lately and I wonder if it could be true?
The difficult thing about being a Storyteller is finding the time to write. In our post industrial technocratic society man, woman and child are subjected to a fate similar to the wrath of God against Adam and Eve. We must work by the sweat of our brow, labor away all of our vital energy so that we can afford to maintain a semblance of dignity and pride. It is an unusual condition to be wedged between because most have become so habituated to this way of being (working) that they see no alternative. They have learned to love the hand that enslaves them and decry a life without hard work ( a classic case of conditioning). After all we know that the majority of hard workers are working hard only so that they do not have to be left with the time to take a deep look into themselves. They find their identity within their work because what is deep within them is devoid of substance. This is a catch 22 situation. You work hard and you loose your self but without hard work you loose your house. This is the great modern modern dilema- how to find the time to live your life.
Since, I have been working full time as a Teacher I have found little time to write. I long for the days when I posted upon my blog every day and read with great anticipation the comments that followed in return. I was telling my stories and people around the world were responding to what was told. As a Storyteller who has been burdened with the naging desire to write, tell stories and be heard (psychologists tell me this is because my parents did not listen or pay attention to me)- the outlet of a blog has been heaven sent. But now because of the curse of “working by the sweat of our brow”, I have had to labor away all of the hours of my day and night educating young minds about how to avoid getting stuck in this consuming rat race. We talk about ways to make a fortune before the age of twenty so that they can buy an island and live far away from this synthetic life-denying culture that us humanoids have created. We find critical solutions for problems of “work-addiction” and plan strategies for ways that I can escape from this society and join a race of people who live more in harmony with life rather than the preoccupation of working.
You may wonder how this has anything to do with being a Storyteller, and I would respond that it has everything to do with being a Storyteller. In societies that are consumed with progress and work the first species to become exiled our expendable are the Storytellers. The workers or citizens of these corporate republics do not want to be reminded of their servitude, their complete dependency upon forces outside of themselves. This is why Plato exiled poets from his Republic. “The poets will allow the people to see the many ways that the established government must manipulate the citizens into the cave and away from the light of humanity,” he said. This is what the Storyteller does- he/she makes people more human.
But I no longer have the time to write or spin stories in my head. I have been drinking more and sleeping less. All of my usual creative outlets have been plugged up by work. Time seems to have shortened. By the time I am ready to read and write my eyes refuse to remain open and willing to follow the words which exhaustion has caused me to read and write backwards. This is the world that I have found myself within, and yes it is the very dynamic that seeks to exile the Storyteller from the very body it resides within. Sometimes late at night when I am lying in bed, I can feel my body shaking and becoming tense. I grow restless and have difficulty staying still. It takes me hours to fall asleep and I know that these systemic sensations are the result of my inner Storyteller trying to escape from my body so that it can go some place else where it will have the peace, light and time to tell its many tales.
I just received notification for an award that I received today. The award is for ” Blog With Least Amount Of Weekly Readers” and I must say that I am surprised. I have always thought that having ten to twelve readers or “hits” a day was fairly decent. I was proud of my weekly rating of around seventy hits. But when I received this award for “Blog With The Least Amount Of Weekly Readers,” I did some research. I found that successful blogs receive over 10,000 hits a day and mediocre ones receive at least 500. 500!!!!! Since I have started this blog I have gained many awards for things like “Most Ridiculous Content,” “Most Depraved Blogger,” “Blogger In Need Of Most Psychological Assistance,” “Least Commented Upon Blog,” and so forth- but this most recent award has really opened my eyes! I mean I have been writing, laboring and living in the dark thinking that ten or so hits a day was decent!
All I had to do to receive the reward for “Blog With Least Amount Of Readers” was push a button and what I won was three private phone consultation with a blogging service that could help me acquire more readers. It is a pity prize, a reward that is intended to patronize the awardee. So I will not follow through with receiving the free consultations but I will ask one final time to Please….stop giving me these humiliating rewards!! I write not to be awarded but rather to release my numerous thoughts and emotions into the digital void hoping that some semblance of a life form will answer with various solutions for my existence here on earth. Some days, I stay away from this blog because I am afraid of what I might say and instead decide to keep it all in. Now that I know that 10 or so hits a day is nothing to be proud of I may change my strategy…but like I wrote in the awardee comment box when I accepted this last award “It is not about quantity…but rather quality. If I can affect only one reader with the things I write than I would rather have one reader than 10,000.” But Please….to whomever this may concern- NO MORE AWARDS, please! These awards are causing me to question why I spend my time blogging and taking a toll upon what little self confidence I have left (please read my last post entitled “The Trappings Of My Mind” for more information upon my psychological state at the moment).