So, this might never be published but then again it might, simply because I have no idea where this is going. That is because a series of things that relate to the Principia Discordia, Illuminatus! Daoism, The KLF, Punk (in it’s oh so British 1970’s incarnation) and so on and so forth (one of my tutors always used this phrase, it sounded good coming from him but unnecessarily pretentious coming from me) have been cropping up in my life in the last two or three years. I recently read The KLF, Chaos, Magic and the band that burned a Million Pounds by John Higgs. It is fascinating and as I was reading I kept on having the thought that this was what I thought about things as I read it.

These might be important, or they might be an example of 23 enigma.

It seems that when I look into things like conspiracy theories research invariably leads back to Robert Anton Wilson, Illumnatus! and Discordianism. They are both appealing and thoroughly unappealing at the same time. The idea of the self referential reality tunnel is to me a fascinating idea that bears a lot of truth but belief in it as an idea is perhaps in itself an example of a self referential reality tunnel.

I’m worried. I’m worried that it is too easy to be drawn into this stuff. I’m worried that Operation Mindfuck was indeed too successful, or maybe that it wasn’t at all and my thinking it was is part of it slowly drip drip dripping it’s way into my head and maybe others as it continues to do its work. This paranoia inducing stuff can induce paranoia so you have to be careful.

And the Dao, how on earth does that get to be on the list of items at the top of this post? Well, I’m not sure yet but I read the phrase “Daoism in a clown suit” to describe Discordianism. There is something about opposing forces being held in balance going on but I’m not sure what it is yet.

What I am going to do is keep looking, hopefully avoiding self reference and the number 23 and I am also going to take you with me. As and when things crop up, that relate to this that help clarify things, I will surely post.

Authentically inauthentic

I’ve been wondering if it is inauthentic to be inauthentic? Or to put it another way, is it authentic to be inauthentic?

I was wondering this because I am getting older and part of getting older is changing. Well, it is for me. I am very different to how I was twenty or thirty years ago. I want to know where the authenticity lies. Is it in the mellowed version, the more ‘whatever’ version that is accepting because it is hard work to not accept or is it in the still partially unaccepting because that is who I am?

If I do something for someone because it is to my benefit, say, they will like me and that will make me feel good. Is the authenticity in the act of doing something for someone or satiating the need to be liked? If being authentic is generally considered a good thing for society and the self then the authenticity perhaps lies in the inauthentic act of doing good for someone. Either that or it is in the not socially beneficial act of doing something selfishly to be liked to feel better about myself.

Or can I only be authentic when I feel good about myself and I am know to myself. Which of course begs as many questions.

When do I know myself?

How long does knowing oneself last?

When I change do I no longer know myself?

Authenticity is much in demand these days. Brands have been authentic for a few years, consumers are searching for authenticity from brands and so it is being delivered to them. But what is authenticity? Let’s think about a local cafe, of the greasy spoon variety, the full English, focussing on quantity than quality. You go into the spoon, you order the full English, you expect tinned beans, tinned tomatoes, probably some old fashioned sausages that are more bread than meat and that sausage skin that feels more like plastic than guts. That is what you have gone in for and that is exactly what you get. That, I would suggest is authenticity.

It is suggested that Authenticity is about being aligned with your beliefs and values and acting in a way that is coherent with them. Reading around the subject this seems to be regarded unquestioningly as a good thing. There also seems to be an assumption that values and beliefs are somehow good. Or perhaps it is only those that have ‘good’ values and beliefs and act accordingly are being authentic.

But what if you look deep into your heart, do a lot of self-introspection, as Authenticity seems to require of us, and find only a selfish, mean, money-grabbing individual that places little value on the lives and happiness of others. And when you’ve found that out, you align your behaviours and spend your entire life looking after number one, trying to earn as much as possible with no care as to who you tread on and who you hurt. Does that count?

What I’m wondering is can you ever act outside of yourself? Can you be inauthentic?

If I decide to sell someone out because I am more afraid of the consequences to myself if I don’t, even though I am normally quite a giving, generous, caring person am I being inauthentic? Perhaps it is more authentic to sell that person out, perhaps that reveals a deeper authenticity that I have been masking all my life and that I wasn’t aware of. If I look into myself and find a person that would be happy to sell someone else out but then, when in that position, decide that I can go against my true nature and do the better thing of accepting the hardship of not selling someone else out, is that authentic?

This entry was amended on 23 August to make it better.

Can anything intrude on Ambient music?

I am listening to Fripp and Eno live in Paris 1975. It is an amalgamation of bootlegs and Eno’s backing tapes. On listening I think, I would like to have been there. In 1975 I was too young to understand music of this kind. I was still quite glam, particularly Bowie, punk had not happened and anyway punk would have been difficult for a 12 year old. As it was, it was pretty manageable for a 14 year old but that is for another time.

There were some comments on Amazon from people who were not happy. They didn’t like the audience noises. The first piece has a lot of whistling and whooping from the audience. Apparently they were expecting some sort of King Crimson / Here Come the Warm Jets hybrid.

As I started listening I was also a bit put out by the audience noises, I was thinking how much it was disturbing the mood of the piece. Then I stepped out on to my balcony to put some washing out (washing on the balcony is in direct contravention of my lease but I like to think that my washing is nice to look at).

As I was putting the washing out I heard a magpie making a bit of a din, some part of the boiler system kicked in with what was approaching white noise and a siren went off from a nearby passing emergency service vehicle. Then I thought of the liner notes for Ambient #1 Music for Airports and remembered the closing line (not word for word, I had to look it up) “Ambient Music must be able to accomodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting.”

I wondered whether the audience, magpie, boiler room and siren were part of the music? I’m not an expert on John Cage but I get the gist of 4′ 33″ – that all sound is music – so I am wondering whether the additional sounds of the audience as they now exist on the record are a part of the music and that my local neighbourhood sounds are improvisations?

Can anything intrude on Ambient music?