I’ve been asked to reprint this piece.
Here it is a with a new brief introduction.
Most people use memory to explain why they’re living the lives they have. They arrange memories as if they’re symbols, and the sum is: this is the life I have; no other.
If you could somehow take away all those memories and insert a whole new synthetic raft, people would arrange those to come to the same conclusion. And the same life.
So it is with the world. People look out at it and decide, on some subterranean level, that the world dictates what degree of choice and power they possess.
Put them in a different home, a different city, on a different planet, and they would eventually settle on the same assessment of their power: small.
In that sense (and many others), memory and the world are constructs the individual ingests, arranges, and builds to suit and fortify his conception of his “geometry”: the shape of his life.
In previous articles, I’ve been making clear how THE VOICE narrates the story of our times through television anchorage.
The elite anchor is groomed to be able to induce a seamless hypnotic trance in viewers and make HIS voice THEIR voice.
There is power in a voice.
A voice can change reality.
Your voice is the voice that destroys the narrative that has been sculpted for us. Your voice is the voice that rolls over the voice of the elite anchor and the other elite leaders who speak for us.
When your voice become your VOICE, you connect with something oceanic that rips away false separations and false systems and false ideas and deserts of sand on which our fake reality is built.
We pretend to be small. We pretend to be whispers. We pretend to be confused. We pretend to be creatures living inside the space of this deluded society. We pretend to be clueless. We pretend to have such limited power.
We pretend that some overriding system or structure SUPERSEDES OUR OWN VOICE. We bow down to that system, and then we see what that does to our own power. It diminishes it. It makes our voice small. It makes our voice thin. It makes us into weaklings.
It makes us walled off from each other, from THE REAL EACH OTHER. The real each other is each one of us with power, with A VOICE.
The word “rant” is interesting to analyze. It originally referred to someone speaking in a completely unhinged way. Its recent online meaning was invented by tech heads, who adopt a “cool” attitude toward problems and answers. These cerebral types consider any outward display of passion or outrage to be a rant. For them, the “ranting voice” is suspect.
Try this experiment. Find a piece of writing you love that expresses great passion and poetry. Read it out loud while you’re alone. Read it out loud 50 times over the course of a few days. Inject your own passion into the words. If you’re not already lying in a coffin, something unexpected will happen to you. You’ll find yourself coming alive in a larger way. You’ll experience glimpses of your VOICE.
This has to do with BEING ALIVE.
You’ll experience the absence of little structures and systems.
Keep reading that passage over and over. Put everything you have into it. Don’t stint. Put more and more feeling into it.
Then, watch the evening network news. Listen to the tone of the anchor. Pay attention to how he establishes a continuity. No matter how absurd you thought the evening news was, you’ll now comprehend that absurdity from an entirely new perspective.
As you expand your own VOICE, and as you EXPRESS WHAT YOU TRULY WANT TO EXPRESS—-YOUR OWN THOUGHTS, YOUR OWN IDEAS, YOUR OWN FEELINGS, YOUR OWN INVENTIONS—you are cutting away layers of stagnant consciousness. Each one of those layers says: “reality is THIS.” Each layer has a different restrictive portrait of reality, and as it disintegrates and tumbles away into space, you become freer.
A path to greater power, greater aliveness, greater empathy, greater engagement, greater self, greater community, greater wholeness.
Your voice, not the anchor’s voice. The anchor’s voice operates on behalf of the established corrupt order, as a mesmerizing tool. Your VOICE liberates you and others.
Many years ago, I was teaching a small class in a school in New York. The kids were all retreads from other schools, where they didn’t make it for a variety of reasons.
They were in a constant state of distraction. Unteachable.
So I picked a short passage from a poem by Dylan Thomas. A few lines. A few great lines. I had each student read the passage out loud. Then we all read it together. Then we went around and around with each child reading it again—I urged more feeling, more expression.
It was like trying to break through an iron ceiling. Each kid read the lines in a monotone. It was eerie, as if they were all in a trance. But I kept going anyway.
Nothing doing. Nothing happening.
Then I said, “I’m going to read these lines like a newscaster would read them.” I gave a pretty good impression of an anchor.
The kids cracked up. They thought it was very funny. They immediately grasped how ridiculous the anchor’s voice sounded trying to give feeling to poetry.
The kids began reading those lines as if they were news anchors. They had a great time with it. That’s what broke the ice.
“Now,” I said, “stop conning me. Read the lines with your own feeling. Come on. Put something into it.”
And they did.
Around and around we went. Each kid must have read those lines a dozen more times. They got into it. They shed their embarrassment.
The VOICES that emerged that day in class convinced me that everyone has a VOICE, and it cuts through layers of conditioning like a knife through butter, once it’s unleashed.
These kids were titanic.
When we were done (I was reading the lines too), we all sat there and looked at each other in amazement. We knew. We knew we had cracked the egg. The spell of “flat reality” had been broken. We were all alive in a new way.
The famous lines we read?
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night…
Although the overall sentiment of that poem might appear to be a kind of futility, when we read the lines over and over, WE came to a different place. A place where we knew that our words COULD fork lightning.
And then we read, from Fern Hill:
Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daises and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light…
Sang to my horn, the
Foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
And the Sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.
To be astonished by something you see on a screen is one thing. To be astonished by what your VOICE can establish is light years beyond that.
VOICE is relentless life.