(169) Černá díra
For a time, I thought that military training is equivalent to meditative training. The recruit is taken—as a self-absorbed seventeen-year-old—and forced to depersonalise: their hair is shaved off, the sergeant leers in their face and they’re not meant to laugh, and they’re told to stand for seven hours in the same place on guard duty (no questions, you just do it). That will all certainly burn off the adolescent narcissism, perhaps not totally but to a large extent; it’s what they mean when they say “the army made a man of him”. However, it’s not the same as meditation.
It’s true that in meditation you might stare at a white wall for seven hours “just because” and you might depersonalise through discipline; however, you train yourself to pay attention to the world. Soldiers are not trained to pay attention to the world—they might have lost their civilian ego strut and become “unit-orientated” but they notice what they’re told to notice. “Listen in, lads. Eyes on me.” Here is the mission, keep on the mission, and ignore all distractions. Yes, the soldier no longer has his civilian self-absorption (life isn’t constructed to suit him) but at the same time he is blind in another way. There’s a woman with her baby in a trench by the road, wounded—there’s a dirty puppy next to her <<keep on mission, lads—keep on mission>>.
The meditative state also has certain restrictions—for example, to breath in and out four times has esoteric significance—that are not present in the military; and these change your consciousness (if the military has certain numeric codes, it’s by accident—US military doctrine, filtered through esoteric fascist JFC Fuller, was based on kabbalah for decades). It’s why soldiers sometimes snap with so-called post-traumatic stress (real but not real). You’re not allowed to notice the woman in the ditch, the puppy (stay on mission); at a certain point the repressed returns. This is why the military is not enlightenment.