It’s not Worth Taking on any Hero’s Journey without You in it!
As much as you don’t have to believe in love to fall in love, politics truly don’t matter when you have yourself. This is a story of My French Experiment after 40 years in the US. Five years in Provence.
2020 and moving forward.
Like Betty Davis said in one of her movies “fasten your seat belts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride”. We live in a changing world but this time it’s for real. It is a very subtle yet brand new beginning and it must be celebrated with presence, humour and clarity.
Creativity and individuality have always been at the service of my spirit. Politics truly don’t matter when you have yourself. Like Machiavelli, I know that not “everything is politics but politics is interested in everything”.
I remember Bod Dylan’s song in the early 90’s “We Live in a Political World” and saying to myself: boy, is this great artist right on! What it really says to me is that we can politicise anything to turn any issue into more votes — very clever. Manipulation tactic 101 but clever nonetheless. Even the air you breathe is political! How dysfunctional did we get?
There’s an ancestral yet unholy trinity that thrives on exploiting the individual spirit. Morals~Religion~Politics. Morals, religion and politics have indeed survived well with their insidious double-binds and fear campaigns. It goes back so far, way before recorded history.
As an example and naturally so, now we have perfumed and powdered slavery and covert bondage to such an extent, nobody gets that it is as alive today as it was then. It’s in man’s nature and I am truly sorry and devastated but I’m not trying to be political beyond the usual daily dosage.
As a matter of fact I personally think politics has ruined our capacity to talk to each other; it has robed us of our intuition and instincts in the last thirty years or so—some may argue much longer than that. Remember when you could watch a debate and really hear the two sides and learn so much in the process. You had passion, yes but not deafness and closed-mindedness.
For my part, I live in France now and this is where it gets really entertaining. My mom was French, and she left me a small house in Provence, which I had to buy from my crazy brother in New York. I nearly lost all my shirts trying to fix it up from California. It was finally completed in 2015…13 years later.
My wife and I decided to make the jump a couple of years back and go for the “wine and cheese” style of living. Today, the house is paid for, and I have to admit living in France and especially Provence is a blast. You need so much less money to live than in Los Angeles, it is completely ridiculous. Our biggest expense is wine every month and we never pay more that five bucks a bottle on average—for really good wine! And trust me, I’m a complete obnoxious snob when it comes to good wine and food :) What to do?
I used to come to France on vacation
People have no idea what the French really are like. Spending a week in France on the go because you want to see everything, if you can afford it, won’t allow you to scratch the surface of how insane these people are.
For instance, it is fun to notice how hermetic and extraordinarily limited the French language is and me thinks it is turning on itself more and more visibly in the past few decades, i.e. repeating to each other the same old stories, slogans and glorious hierarchical metaphors from the past. French has approximately 135 000 words compared to English, that has over 520 000 words. Mind you, the average person does not use more than 20 000 words up to maybe 35 000 but still.
Since we moved, we have fallen prey to endless postures of complexity and vanity not to mention the false songs of liberty, equality and fraternity (the pillars of the French Republic). It is more hilarious than sad or depressing and was, I confess, very seductive and original in its heyday. To see it all play out is quite scrumptious for me, after a long absence as I spent quite a few years in France growing up.
My mom forbade me to forget my French, under penalty of death by guillotine (she was a true revolutionary), so the move was relatively smooth on a practical level. Emotionally and intellectually, I don’t think France survived 1789 (the French Revolution), not even “L’après-guerre” (after the second World War). They are still repeating the old mantras and ideas that came out of that 1940’s era through the usual suspects in philosophy, literature, historical journalism and psychology — forget art, it is hardly referenced these days, except for Picasso who only lived in France.
The French show occasional outbursts of creativity but essentially innovation has officially stopped. Below the countless layers of veneer and heavy perfume, they are fundamentally anti-individual, though they would deny it with great fervour—bat ov kourse! This sad phenomenon is quite unconscious, typically schizophrenic, full of double binds and implicit labyrinths of distorted bad drama. I don’t like the French spirit — never did. Right, why don’t you tell me how you really feel? There are rare exceptions. I’m bummed my mom past in 2002 as she had a very unusual French spirit back when high spirits were the only fashion.
Deep in their homogenised angry and frustrated spirits, the French are anti everything—it is not a joke, they complain about everyone and everything…constantly. As mentioned and to be fair, there are a few exceptions — God knows why? They’ve been on a roll why not go all the way and exterminate even the idea of a spirit of enterprise and independence? They are getting there.
But the country is beautiful, charming and the food, wine and cheese are a-ma-ZING! It’s been a great education for me and my darling wife. Her head (and mine for that matter) were so full of clichés about the French, naturally so how could she know? So, we spend an awful lot of time alone and travel quite a bit — everything in Europe is so close.
Regarding the absence of true individuality
In order to graduate and qualify as pro-individual one has to first be aware and ultimately witness and celebrate not just diversity but uniqueness. Something is truly unique when it requires no comparison, proof nor evidence of any kind to be considered valid. Am I the only one thinking that?
Unique individuals simply exist on their own in a tolerant and non-threatening community of other individuals who can be entertained and stimulated by genuine differences. A celebration of differences not outright and upfront bigotry, prejudice and racism. In turn, you end up feeling encouraged to express your own unique individual perspectives. That’s tolerance at its best, right? We are just different, that’s all! Live your life and let me live mine. I’m not selling my differences, they’re just there and I celebrate yours. If we don’t have much in common why does it have to turn into a God damn problem?
In France? Forget it, tolerance is so limited or quasi absent it has been an incredible wake-up call for us…how much we took liberty and individuality for granted as Americans living in America.
America IS great, France is just old. Sorry for challenging and provoking your sense of humour :) but man is it old here. That an eleven century cathedral or the Chambord castle is old I can accept, that’s beautiful and, as you’ve guessed, not at all what I’m talking about.
Europe is tribal and tactile.
The tribe or family always moves slower, is very unaware and is always ruled by a tribal leader—the famous Father figure. It is very strict and its laws are rooted in the past. The tribe never likes individuals and anything new. The US is the only country and system entirely based on individuality and collectivity. It is under attack! Hence, the major political clashes we are experiencing.
Individuality grows through empowerment.
The collective grows through visual constructs such as the internet, television, movies, sharing ideas, books, blogs, etc. Europe will never become individual in our lifetime. America cannot regress to tribal law under any circumstance. Individual freedom is the key to its extraordinary success and survival.
It is under attack by tribal propaganda where one (usually the government) rules all. If you remove morals out of the equation, it is the nature of the tribal system itself that would never work in the United States. It works in many countries but it also keeps them chained to old ways as growth and evolution are slow under one ruler. Tribal constructs and rituals keep everyone within the tribe close by — subdued and in psychological or emotional chains. It is what it is but it is very alive :)
Tribe is mainly concerned with survival and support while the individual and the collective with empowerment and sharing. Commerce and trading developed outside of the tribe in our history. Without individuals and their achievements and creative innovations, we would still be in the trees picking our butts.
Without feeling like quoting any great bald or long-bearded sage up in the sky or on the ground, life is but an illusion — a very temporary one at that and if you have not been to a cemetery lately you owe it to yourself to pay a visit because that’s where intolerance lives on.
Religion and politics only divide people into false factions through belief systems and dogmas looking for a false balance with false compromises or childish backstabbing. Belonging to any ideology, only brings pain. It all ends up in the cemetery. I love the dying process. Can you imagine De Gaulle, Churchill or Washington still president? Though I think Washington would be kind of cool pointing out where the American experiment has a few issues. Yet, in France De Gaulle is by far the most respected and quoted figure on television today — every day — it’s extraordinary.
Ignorant minds hijack awareness.
All is executed under tribal law and the price for not conforming is instant ostracising, leaving the individual in the bitter cold of rejection, back stabbing, slander or all three. Some insights are needed into the differences between awareness and consciousness.
Consciousness does not necessarily lead to awareness. In the words of a truly gifted and intelligent friend in Spain, he wrote: “It is rather fortunate that there are two very distinct terms in English to describe what actually are two completely different mechanisms in the way they participate in fuelling the cognitive processes of the human mind, because in most European languages, there is only one single term for both awareness and consciousness, which speaks volumes for the lack of awareness in conscious human beings.”
I find it extraordinarily fascinating that a people (the French) with no word for awareness in their language and therefore no capacity to develop it, can still pretend to matter. All there is is France la la la la la…, the Beatles thought it was love, nope.
The Power of the Word
The power of the word is the key to understanding ourselves and the world as there is no world outside of the meaning of things, i.e. to have meaning they must haven names. What does not have a name does not exist in our world. More important, meaning must be re-invented from the depths of our individuality as well as be re-contextualised to fit our upgraded spiritual humanity.
Things or ideas with no word cannot survive the Maya of civilisation. If it wants to survive this unprecedented age we are confronted with, it is crucial for France to Americanise itself, i.e. to bring some true spirit to itself from the only country in the world that, despite its extremes and imperfections, actually practices tolerance and individualism. We see how it is being challenged.
Politics truly don’t matter when you have yourself. Do the math, we feel coerced to take sides because at the root we don’t have ourselves. It’s nobody’s fault and only ignorance could be blamed.
Blame is an institution
The spiritual master speaks : you have to be crazy not to be yourself but blame and being yourself are not compatible. The insight? Don’t blame! Blame is an institution and, in my view, at the origin of sin.
Blame and guilt are in love and in bed for a very long time. They bring an occasional lover named fear once in a while or on weekends. If everyone lived their own life and minded their own business there would be no racism and you would not have to be told that it’s bad or wrong—we know racism is disgusting! If you knew yourself and if you lived your life fully, there would be no time for blame or racism.
I have always understood that a truly challenged individual has no time for miserable thinking, like someone training for the Olympics coming up in six months—do you really think they have time to mess around? If you are idle and unchallenged, you cannot train for the Olympics of Awareness.
In France, there are staggering amounts of rules and laws but no natural flow or authentic demonstration of self-expression, another word that does not exist in French. Even though, like awareness, it can painfully find some obscure translation like “express yourself”, though radically different than “exprime-toi”, its French counterpart, which merely suggests using words to unburden one-self. So pathetic! Come to think of it, I really don’t like the French. Oops, should I buy a gun? What am I thinking, there’s no Second Amendment here :)
Everyone in France wants to be King
A fundamental difference between France and the USA is that everyone in France wants to be king, while everyone in the US wants to be rich and successful. This vast humorous generalisation is much more subtle that one might think at first glance. Hierarchical verticality is the way of life in France. “The boss, the chief or the head of the department” are what most everyone respects and aspires to be, no matter what.
Since the French revolution, France never came out of the political splits that have diminished its spirit and power in the world, year by year without fail. Don’t forget it is history that made France and of course the Clergy — France ruled the world for centuries!
Politics is everything in France
Politics is everything in France, it blinds everyone and makes people so dull and shush! So dumb. The integrity of its national identity and its survival is melded with it. Ideology was the pride of its people. The famous French philosopher, Auguste Comte, said it brilliantly: in France, the dead still govern the living.
Yet, identification with societal values, politics, philosophy and religion are slowly but surely becoming old relics of the past. Institutions are crumbling down. Individual authority is the “new authority”, there can be no other and it is the only sane way out.
In the very near future, I see knowing oneself and being oneself as the new motors for survival and wellbeing. True emotional intelligence beyond hope and pain. Having your own authority is the only mechanism that can promote freedom from fear of survival and freedom from bondage to institutions or shady characters. Institutions that can no longer deliver on their promises, neither can shady abusive characters. We have arrived at the age of the individual, regardless of whatever morals, beliefs and ideologies are out there.
Wars will be fought within and when I say war I mean a new war, which is a search for an inner resonance to yourself, to the the whole and a deep understanding that relinquishing authority to anything or anyone is no longer sustainable, practical and healthy.
The age of the individual
Individual authority must become a near absolute. There has never been an opportunity like this in the history of man, at least since recorded history. In order to say “no” to being controlled, one must realise that control has moved inside our DNA. Hence, how saying NO must come from within.
To release oneself from the shackles of fear, one must undertake a deep transformation of the way one thinks about the world. One must think in terms of oneself first. It can be called awakened selfishness not at all possessive (the old definition of selfish or ego-centric) but rather a new and transformed awareness. It is an awareness that renounces any form of control, authority and oppression from outside and from within, again where the battles are truly fought moving forward.
Old fears lurk in the light of darkness
No pain no gain, no more great myths and heroic journeys
The empires crumble under the weight of coldheartedness
I have no courage left in me to carry the dead
These are essays in intuitive awareness offered as creative musings. Science uses intuition to establish new paths of inquiry and advance possible theories. We favour a philosophical exploration through our own intuition rather than fit-all reasoning. We see ourselves as traveling mystics and emotional spirits filtering universal consciousness in the now. We are witnesses of a great cosmic joke playing with our being on this plane inside the even greater mystery of life.
Eric and Amy Stone
Our web site
“My Spirit has Ways of Seeing that my Eyes cannot Comprehend.”