The Red Dust Of Lies: Why Nature Heals Sunday May 26, 2013

Our age is the age of criticism, to which everything must be subjected. The sacredness of religion, and the authority of legislation, are by many regarded as grounds of exemption from the examination of this tribunal. But, if they are exempted, they become the subjects of just suspicion, and cannot lay claim to sincere respect, which reason accords only to that which has stood the test of a free and public examination – Emmanuel Kant, The Critique of Pure Reason, 1781

EXTRACTS FROM A PUBLICATION

I don’t think the hills represent “truth” and the term is far too vague and problematic. Truth varies, there are different kinds of truth, there’s a difference between relative and absolute truth, and different levels of truth. Truth at one level is false at another. As a principle however truth is one reason why I walk the hills…

Politics and religion encourage and facilitate lies. They are forms of language and thinking resting on lies and maintaining lies. They are the fabric of the world and much of the reason why it’s such a mess. Why, in this recent example, a British soldier was killed in London. It traces back to politics and religion, and now religious and political figures will lie about it respectively. The first will say it has no relation to their religion, despite the fact that it does in regard to both its history and texts. This is easily established. The killer himself made direct reference to his religious book. Fusilier Lee Rigby died because of this mess. He was a casualty of politics, religion, and lies…

Truth is stolen from us in many ways. My crying was punished with slaps, my questions were answered with lies, and the expression of my thoughts and feelings was simply forbidden. Alice Miller writes this in her book The Body Never Lies…

I remember the extraordinary dead discomfort I felt as I once spoke to a student counsellor. It was a long time ago. I don’t remember the content of the words but I do remember the feeling. I made some reference to my internal life and like a tulip trying to come out I spoke of “my needs.” Did they exist? Were they allowed? Where were they, what were they, would the counsellor dismiss me as I had been dismissed…

I woke in my tent a few months ago and remembered this like a dream. The waking moment is a transition from the organic unconscious where you are safe and free and exist in a fluid condition where healing dream adjustments occur – back to the cutting mind and the cutting world of lies. I can be a tulip in my dreams but not in the world…

This is not madness, it is an old form of healing, and the tragedy of the modern world is how such behaviour is feared and scorned and misunderstood; how you are made outcast if you sing to nature and enjoy the flowers…

I’d suffered a Dickensian generational home where children were not supposed to have an internal life of feelings. More, more?? No one noticed this, understood it, accepted it, or had the time for it. I was sent to bed without supper…

I don’t understand why this is such a difficult concept but in the previous generation it was. I suspect surviving the Second World War was part of it, and the trauma therein at a time when psychology was in its infancy and detached from mainstream society. This is wild speculation but I wonder if my father, a sergeant in the artillery, who once told me he loved family life (and me) desperately needed the solace of a happy home. He came back from the War and tried to build it…

I once sat with a child whom I was helping with homework. I approached her and sat with her quietly. She told me her brother was in prison. She told me her father was an alcoholic and had no job. She told me last week a man pulled a knife at the supermarket. She said these things abruptly, one after the other, because she felt free to do so. This was her truth. I could not change it. I was dreadfully sad and felt this should not be so. No child should suffer this. But I could not change it. But I could see, despite the sadness and weight she carried, she did carry it with the dignity of a ten year old wisdom like a tulip…

These reveries derive from sleeping on the earth and waking on the earth. In the final chapter of EM Forster’s novel Howard’s End, Margaret and Helen’s view from the cottage is spoiled only by the “red rust” in the distance which shows London encroaching on the landscape. Forster wanted a civilization that will “rest on the earth” but knew the world was lurching out of control, spinning faster away from the earth. London, as capital city with all its implications and inferential links to all other such cities – is a place of lies. The red dust of pollution, the smog haze which obscures blue skies and sharp stars, is the shadow of lies in which we live.

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