I don’t read much anymore, or better said, I don’t find much worth reading anymore. I love reading. It has been my morning activity for decades, the reason I come bounding down the stairs after awakening at ridiculously early senior citizen hours. (For any who wonder, I am 67 and in excellent health, still able to do all of the very hard work involved in living in a mountain home. Every year my wife and I look at the future and wonder how much longer we can keep this up, and the answer is always … five more years.)
But what is there to read? You can take every book in the current events or history section of the library or at Barnes and Noble and have a bonfire, and nothing of value except paper would be lost.
However, there are people of insight out there, people who know to write around subjects rather than hitting them directly, and I search for them. When I find them I read slowly, as I want the book to last. Such has been my experience with The Outsider by Colin Wilson, originally released in 1956. I have the 1967 version with a postscript. I think of myself as an outsider, but not in that self-serving way that puts someone above it all. I think of it as just the way I am, the way I have always been. It was not easy in younger years. Now I live a happy and rewarding life, and refer to a poem in the book by Robert Blake that pleases my senses:
I have mental joy and mental health
And mental friends and mental wealth
I’ve a wife I love and that loves me
I have all but riches bodily.
I hope for all our readers here to have that too, as events like the fake Las Vegas mass shooting tend to separate us from the herd. That can be distressing, to see the ease with which the herd is alarmed into stampede, believing every word and image passing down.
What follows is a passage from Wilson’s 1967 postscript that strikes me as being not true, precisely, and yet true enough.
“In the Korean War the Chinese discovered that they could prevent the escape of American soldiers by segregating the “leader figures” and keeping them under heavy guard, and leaving the others without any guard at all. The leaders were always precisely five percent of the total number of soldiers. And it so happens that this figure holds good for most species of animals too. The “dominant majority” is always five percent.”
I doubt any such thing happened in the Korean war, as I know that the supposed brainwashing techniques being studied by the
Koreans Chinese at that time were far more likely to be of Western origin, applied successfully, and then blamed on them. So that story was probably misdirection of that era.
Still, I remember back in 2000 ,when I was supporting and working for Ralph Nader (probably controlled opposition, but I did not know the concept back then), that it appeared that only five percent of the population was mentally astute enough to see through regular politics. Wilson above merely affirms that perception.
Which brings me to another author, and another concept. Mr. Mathis, in his latest paper on the Bush family, deviates toward the end into a subject I have wondered about, reincarnation. He believes in it. I wish it were so, but take no stand. I comfort myself with this: There is no harm to come from believing it. If true, zounds! What joy! If false, we will never know.
So I read books by Michael Newton, the first of which is called Journey of Souls. He writes about lives between lives and past lives, and I wonder if he has ever taken the trouble, when a patient claims to have a past life, to go and locate the records of that person to verify the claim. Of course it cannot be done with ancient lives, but for the later centuries forward is certainly possible. As far as the books are concerned, he does not write of such research, but others say he has located a soldier who died in the First World War and returned as a patient. I would focus on that rather than blandly accepting the words of each of entranced patients as true. So his books are not scholarly tracts, but more pleasing speculation.
In Newton’s world, we are given assignments in this life of self-improvement, to make ourselves into better … not people, but souls. We are given hurdles and difficulties, tragedies and soul mates who reappear in many lives as spouses, siblings and friends. How comforting! And at a certain point he says that most of the souls who inhabit the planet earth are “young souls.” They are not conceived in a wise state, and have to stumble through many lives low in awareness and unable to control either mind or body. They are working towards perfection, and Earth appears to be a hard testing ground.
Those who come to him, he said, are often wizened, and “see too deep and too much,” a phrase I am grabbing not from Newton, but Colin Wilson.
Newton has been ostracized from the psychiatric community, a very good thing for him or anyone. Is he correct in his assertions? Is he just another psyop? Who can know. I don’t.
I write all of this because I sense in reading the comments these past few days that there is a feeling of futility as events like Las Vegas are run. It was crudely done and easily falls apart on close examination, and yet it works … on the ninety-five percent. The herd is so easily managed. J.S. Bach wrote a song centuries ago called Sheep May Safely Graze, a lovely tune and true then and now. The sheep are grazing in the paddocks, safely surrounded by fences, never wanting or even thinking about escape, like Wilson’s soldiers who did not even need guards.
So what is left for us in the five percent? I am going to grab one more passage from Wilson’s postscript, and let it sink in on both me and the readers. At first it made me think of someone else I know to be a genius. On reflection I think that it applies to all who have commented these past few days who see too deep and too much:
… I got used to working completely and totally alone, and not expecting encouragement. Later on reviewers and critics were outraged by what one of them called “his stupefying assurance about his own genius.” But it would have been impossible to go on working without some conviction of genius – at least, of certainty about the importance of what I was doing, and the belief that it wouldn’t matter if no other human being ever came to share this certainty. The feeling of alienation had to be totally accepted. Luckily, I’ve always had a fairly cheerful temperament, not much given to self-pity.
I make no claim of genius. Far from it. I stumble from rock to rock, and revelations only come to me via the hard work of pounding on a keyboard, and certainly not at first attempt. But I know I am above average, and if you have read this far and understand that we cannot do a thing to help the sheep in the paddocks, so too are you. The sheep need safety above all, and don’t want or need the excitement of discovery. That is reserved to us. (Something else I have discovered about those in the ninety-five percent who even bother to read … they will read the opening paragraph above, the closing one below and then skip to comments. They will not read these words. It is safe to mock them.)
So Vegas will fade into the background. The next event is in planning stages, as are others. They are being done for the sheep in the paddocks, and not for us. Planners know about us, the five percent. We are safely isolated from the herd, and do not threaten them.
So be of cheerful temperament, and glad you have found the company of others like you at this blog and so many other places. Life is a fun journey.