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(135) Aneirin

To continue with yesterday’s theme, poetic vulnerability—a similar concern can be seen in Joe Rogan, Graham Hancock, and Colin Wilson. For Rogan and Hancock, poetic vulnerability can be accessed through drugs—the reason why this route attracts is that it allows them plausible deniability; they can say, if they expose themselves, “Hey man, that was crazy talk—woah, you know, everyone says crazy things on drugs.” In this way they can disassociate themselves from vulnerability—they can avoid responsibility; further, drug-taking is a collective activity and so “everyone was crazy-talking” and that makes your crazy-talk safe.

Hancock is right to identify “everyday problem-solving consciousness” with an alienation from life; it is the same as the “efficient armour” that Hughes perceives conceals the inner observer. Nobody says on their CV, “I’m an active problem-causer.” Rather, everyone claims to solve problems—though perhaps the “active problem-solvers” are the worst problem-causers. I myself have always been a problem-causer. Hancock uses drugs to break down the “problem-solver” mentality. The downside is that if you experience the supernatural on drugs you can never be sure it is not an hallucination—hence drugs are an evasion, a way to let you write-off the supernatural and return to techno-science. All my supernatural experiences were stone-cold sober.

Colin Wilson calls “problem-solver” mode “the robot”—and he wanted people to break free from “the robot” in order to evolve, not in the Darwinian sense but in the sense of creative evolution (what Hughes would call “growth”). The problem was, though he eschewed drugs, that he tried to break free with scientific methods—simply impossible. What these men are after is “inner truth”, wisdom—perception. It is Browning: “There is an inmost centre in us all, where truth abides in fullness;....and, to know, rather consists in opening out a way where the imprisoned splendour may escape, then in effecting entry for a light supposed to be without.” Techno-science has made it almost impossible for most people to work in this way today.


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