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(the following is an example of the kind of NON-FICTION content we are interested in running. anything which pushes the boundaries, bring it on …)

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THE BATTLE FOR HEADSPACE

 

a. WHAT ON EARTH IS HAPPENING?

As we vigourously slither towards yet another year’s end – 2007 – we once again wonder. What the hell is it? What is still wrong with this world? Why are we still killing, abusing, torturing, spoiling, if all we really want in life – from life – is just to be HAPPY? Are we again not going to get anywhere near, also not this year, towards perhaps at least marginally altering the glooming crash course of our poor planet? Climate change, poverty, famine, terrorism, environmental mayhem. The terrifying prospect of nuclear wars. Corrupt and cynically anti-liberal governments. Intensified media-spin of pivotal public information. Further intrusion into our ever so sensitive privacy. And on a more personal level the soaring deterioration into depression and resignation intertwined with the weird sensation of being increasingly alienated from people around us – friends, families, partners, colleagues, lovers. What has been unfolding thus far is really just another year of eerily empty consume slavery in a dull, almost surreal treadmill, devilishly staged against the emotionally unsettling backdrop of failed intimate bonding – if we do actually have any love life at all in our sad, single-cell city-cave households. What is the point, we sometimes wonder, to carry on living like this, merely existing? Why don’t we just end it here, push the buttons, pull the plugs, and that’s it, end of story, finally we manage to escape this tragically man-made prison? It wouldn’t really matter, would it? Life still goes on, the planets steadfastly keep moving, nature will always survive. It’s just US HUMANS who’d be gone – so what?

There must be some deep down life-force, or a genetically embedded core belief in humanity if you will, to keep on fighting abuse and havoc and to bravely pull up our sleeves in order to work towards a somewhat better, more humane reality. We seem to carry inside a vision where life has to work for every single one of us, regardless of passport or bank account, sex, religion, culture or views. And yet – however persistently we hear the call for more human unity – HUMANITY – we first need to get our own individual act together. We can’t even recycle our beer cans properly, how can we possibly contribute to an increase of LOVE and RESPECT in this world?

 

b. THE PARADIGM SHIFT OF POWER

One of the problems seems that by subscribing to however much recycled but still essentially “Paulinean” value and belief systems (irritatingly referred to as “Christian”) our western civilisation has built its cornerstones on pretty muddy grounds. Its core structures – and consequently most of its branches – are essentially a lie. The whole evolutionary battle between the sexes, as well as our genetic animal nature has never been properly addressed, not even remotely acknowledged. And yet the same set of views was determined enough to go nuclear by the end of last millennium, with the threat of human extinction cold-bloodedly asserting the right of calling the shots on this planet. In 2007 this essentially means that we’re all being patronised by patriarch, rigidly corporate power structures. MONEY has replaced all other certificates for alpha-male- or -femaleness like heritage, intellectual / cultural achievements or otherwise claimed “genetic superiority”. Those who have the money now, at the beginning of the 21st century, have also made sure that not only will they (and their families) keep their tight reign on it for any foreseeable future but that they can effectively generate MORE almost effortlessly, at the whim of any however dimwit board-room decision and – most alarmingly – also war-room decisions as we’ve sadly seen in recent years. We’re operating within a new paradigm where money is EVERYTHING and the inescapable truth is that those of us who haven’t got IT, here and now, at the beginning of the 21st century, haven’t really got much chance to ever get anywhere in life – apart from maybe “scoring” a girlfriend if they perfume their armpits with the right brand of deodorant-spray or – more foresightfully – disguise their ruthless ambitions with the ability to bend over, right time, right place, in the rat race for the sparse company hot-seats where apparently fat bonuses are impatiently only awaiting to be unplugged.

 

c. LOOKING BENEATH THE SURFACE

In the face of such darkness it is admittedly sometimes just easier to subscribe to Hello! magazine or other Hollywood / Bollywood celebrity bullshit which PR companies and media giants cynically vomit into our cultural void. Within the everyday challenge of what we refer to as “our life”, with its permanent, subliminal power struggles between family, lovers, work colleagues, friends, authorities or any other different value and belief systems we feel it makes totally sense for us to just switch off our brains for as long as it takes to surrender to ready-made quick-fix pleasures on offer – even if it is pre-manufactured, cheap and hypocrite fast-food crap.

If we look into the behind-the-scene workings of human interaction though we can see that we pretty much function like tiny, fragile gears within a giant, global clockwork which have sadly been screwed up throughout our politically charged and emotionally and / or physically abusive upbringings. What Systemic Psychology is able to teach us is that we are in a way not really meant to be “loved” in this world (at least not on a surface level) and to a certain extent not even liked. Within the limping clockwork of our everyday reality we’re much rather being usurped by each other and through the assertion of power and the seduction of sex more or less helplessly controlled and manipulated. As long as we’re blaming other people or circumstances for our ugly experience of life we do not have the slightest chance to ever change anything at all. The clockwork will only keep spinning, awkwardly and grindingly, and further deteriorate into the painful experience of ageing, betrayal and despair. The simple, bleak truth is that there is no one to blame, no god, no country, religion, parent, partner, fate, president. This is it, us humans, and what we participate in, with every single breath, every single heartbeat, is our very own, custom-made slice of reality. What we desperately need is careful repair work to our poor, damaged gears, the painful and deep-rooted procedure of PSYCHOTHERAPY – EMOTIONAL HEALING.

It is indeed very unfortunate that the present framework we’re stuck in, with our almost hysterically machinesque 9 to 5 job structure, doesn’t ever give us a fair chance to find out who we truly are. We’ve established a system which makes it almost impossible for us to ever “be ourselves”, let alone “love ourselves” which is of course intrinsically required to ultimately “being loved” also by others. There is no real awareness about the importance of EMOTIONAL HEALTH embedded into our western society. At the end of the day, what we ultimately long for are friendships and relationships built on warmth, depth and understanding instead of insecurities, superficialities and power-games. We’re way off target, psychologically speaking, and it is in the systemic interest of people / gears in power that we’re being kept in a state where we haven’t got a clue about the way how it really works in this world.

 

d. VICTIM AND PERPETRATOR MECHANICS

Looking at it from the outside it is almost ironic. All we want is to be around people who can equally open up to us as honestly as we wish to find ourselves capable of opening up to others. But all we’re achieving are uncomfortable and energy-draining entanglements with people trying to get some advantage through us, sexually, financially, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually or whatever else they desperately need us for. They feel compelled to socially climb through their fake affiliation with us and they skilfully camouflage this bonding as friendship or sometimes – most disillusioningly – even love. It doesn’t matter whether they’re being conscious or unconscious about the dependency strings they’re creating. They are in any case people who can not actually see us and consequently don’t care about us, no matter how much they openly claim they do. Once the relationship or friendship is over and we’ve had enough time to unwind and move on we’re suddenly strangely unable to understand how we could have ever been attracted to them in the first place.

On the other hand we also find ourselves continuously victims of people who’ve got power OVER us (or on an even darker level who we hand over this power due to some devastating early childhood programming). These people are “getting off” on establishing all sorts of sick dependency strings in order to submit us to their pathetic attempts to escape their painful experience of utter, inescapable loneliness. And yet – from whichever side we look at it, “victim” or “perpetrator”, we’re all victims and perpetrators, stuck in our HUMAN CONDITION, the dark clockwork / framework also referred to as the CYCLE OF ABUSE. We’re not free in any way whatsoever, stuck in an ugly prison of attachments and needs. We can not possibly find HAPPINESS and PEACE in this world. We’re basically just doomed to failure – unless we CAN take charge and ACT.

 

e. FINALLY RECLAIMING OUR HEADSPACE

There is only one way to get out of this prison. Stepping out of the abusive cycle through healing. We have to deal with the fact that we’re all alone in this world, lonely gears spinning away as time passes (even if we somehow manage to crawl back into the substitute womb of a family). And then take responsibility for exactly how and how much TIME we spend with ourselves and in turn with other people. Buying into brands, boyfriends, girlfriends, celebrities, mobile phones, mortgages, websites, countries, TV programmes or whatever / whoever else wants to get into our fragile minds (and eventually pockets) will only hand over to other people our ever so precious HEADSPACE. Since we’re essentially only a brain, jacked-in to the experience of living, our headspace is the only true asset we’ve got to offer to other people and thus to the whole world at large. It is literally our REAL ESTATE and – why not – 2007 could be the time to finally reclaiming it from everyone who’s inhabiting it without our kind and sincere permission. We have to learn to say NO and self-assertively press the unsubscribe button in order to cut ties with dangerous power trippers and needy emotional vampires. Giving people we DO NOT LOVE our headspace is what only further empowers them and in turn buries us deeper into the framework of being their slaves. Whereas in turn supporting those people, ideas and products we truly love and care about will make all the difference and eventually FREE us. Kiss by kiss and hug by hug we can, with a clear and healthy mind and spirit, change this dark, unsettling world forever.

Let’s therefore see whether 2007 is yet another passing, insignificant snapshot of human history or whether we can finally stir the ship of humanity into a more beautiful, meaningful direction. Perhaps another wake-up call might alert us to do something about our condition, not only wait, endure and follow? Perhaps we need to be reminded, over and over again, in the midst of day-to-day dullness and slave entertainment, that it only takes one single, desperate hand to push a red button or to pull a nylon string on a vest, for us all to go down, blown apart into pieces – essentially fractalised back into the random, amoebean splinter code as how we once popped up on this planet which we sometimes later lovingly called THE EARTH.

 

Reinhard Schleining
London, March – November 2007

© 2007, all rights reserved

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