I have never once on this blog, or any other, pretended to have the answers; to be ‘sorted’; to be perfect and enlightened and out of the dark tunnel we all spend at least some of our time lost and floundering in.
I have never, in fact, pretended to be anyone other than myself – a human being full of flaws and faults and failings and funny moments.
I am not a finished product. Nor, I suspect, will I ever be because finished and perfect equals dead or statue-like.
I am, however, relatively perceptive – and very much in touch with my own feelings, both physical and emotional. I do not censor them on here – and they fluctuate depending upon my mood. When I am angry, I will be seeing things through flames, through black and red, through agitation. But the feelings may not represent my mind at calmer times.
So many of us love to appear wiser, more intelligent, more ‘normal’, more spiritual, and less fucked-up than the other buggers in our families, towns, countries. We pride ourselves in having got past certain stages, or through trials and tribulations; of having, in some odd way, won our way to a higher plateau of being, with all its attendant, often somewhat jargonistic, vocabulary. The sad thing is this: Too often such an ascent actually takes us far away from our true, raw selves – and, ironically, we become less and less believable the more we adopt the language and mores of our particular belief system.
In trying to become super-human, we can, all too easily, attain the dubious status of puppet, so false and wooden in our responses that we become like automatons, trotting out meaningless platitudes and forgetting to think for ourselves. We start to use phrases which make no sense, or are clumsy, or are so convoluted and round the houses that no one else knows what the hell we are on about.
I speak as I find. This can offend. I care less and less about that. I do not wish to be wrapped in the cloying candy-floss of cult linguistics and the narcotic effect of a powerful (often sinister) Guru. I would rather think for myself, even if my thoughts are not always tidily packaged or clean or sweetly acceptable to all and sundry.
I can vividly recall how appalled I felt when buckets full of utter codswallop (sorry: Worthy Educational Speak) came flooding into the system while I was still an English teacher; it is one of the reasons I retired early. To me, it was utter desecration – and completely meaningless. It was language squeezed and twisted out of shape to fit the sanctimonious, to allow the self-righteous to feel even more deserving of a top grade at Ofsted than they already did. The ability to perpetrate such crimes against language and meaning was praised – highly; to my way of thinking, it should have been a hanging offence!
I refused to join in. Certain initiatives froze my blood, so I didn’t use them!
Learning Objectives, for example: Give me strength! They are neither use nor ornament in my book. It is the journey and not the arrival that matters in education – and too much time and money and pointless tweaking of our language is being devoted to the very narrow ‘arrival’ that is A*-C at GCSE/A’level.
We evolve. Constantly. We cannot, I suspect, ever wake up one morning, look in the mirror and think, ‘Wow! I’ve arrived! I’ve got it! I am enlightened!’ because such thinking leads, with repulsive inevitability, to stasis and stagnation.
When we preach and seek converts, we are, in effect, setting ourselves up (albeit through a deity in most cases) as spiritually or philosophically superior to the ‘heathens’ we are trying to reach. How arrogant! How narrow-minded! How tyrannical!
I am not smooth, shiny, diplomatic or finished! I don’t have the answer. Half the time, I don’t even know what the bloody question is…