The Relief of Selling Your Soul (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 240)

Pretext Note: This lesser known novel written by George Orwell deals with the constant struggle of the protagonist who is trying to avoid the insanity, destabilization, and bastardization of living in the money world as he also attempts to continue to comfortably interact with others who are of that world and maintain the survival of his own perceived self worth. This passage is essentially the culminating point of the novel. The tragic nature in the outcome of his “relief” of accepting that he must sell his soul if he is to integrate with the money world in any respect is fatalistically depressing, but astoundingly and hauntingly accurate in assessing the impossibility of meshing and melding the worlds of money and non-money prioritization.

He walked rapidly away. What had he done? Chucked up the sponge! Broken all his oaths! His long and lonely war had ended in ignominious defeat. Circumcise ye your foreskins, saith the Lord. He was coming back to the fold, repentant. He seemed to be walking faster than usual. There was a peculiar sensation, an actual physical sensation, in his heart, in his limbs, all over him. What was it? Shame, misery, despair? Rage at being back in the clutch of money? Boredom when he thought of the deadly future? He dragged the sensation forth, faced it, examined it. It was relief.

Yes, that was the truth of it. Now that the thing was done he felt nothing but relief; relief that now at last he had finished with dirt, cold, hunger and loneliness and could get back to decent, fully human life. His resolutions, now that he had broken them, seemed nothing but a frightful weight that he had cast off. Moreover, he was aware that he was only fulfilling his destiny. In some corner of his mind he had always known that this would happen. He thought of the day when he had given them notice at the New Albion; and Mr. Erskine’s kind, red, beefish face, gently counselling him not to chuck up a “good” job for nothing. How bitterly he had sworn, then, that he was done with “good” jobs for ever! Yet it was foredoomed that he should come back, and he had known it even then. And it was not merely because of Rosemary and the baby that he had done it. That was the obvious cause, the precipitating cause, but even without it the end would have been the same; if there had been no baby to think about, something else would have forced his hand. For it was what, in his secret heart, he had desired.

After all he did not lack vitality, and that moneyless existence to which he had condemned himself had thrust him ruthlessly out of the stream of life. He looked back over the last two frightful years. He had blasphemed against money, rebelled against money, tried to live like an anchorite outside the money-world; and it had brought him not only misery, but also a frightful emptiness, an inescapable sense of futility. To abjure money is to abjure life. Be not righteous over much; why shouldst thou die before thy time? Now he was back in the money-world, or soon would be. Tomorrow he would go back to New Albion, in his best suit and overcoat (he must remember to get his overcoat out of pawn at the same time as his suit), in homburg hat of the correct gutter-crawling pattern, neatly shaved and with his hair cut short. He would be as though born anew. The sluttish poet of today would be hardly recognisable in the natty young business man of tomorrow. They would take him back, right enough; he had the talent they needed. He would buckle to work, sell his soul and hold down his job.

Keep the Aspidistra Flying 

George Orwell          1936

Why did you let me? (Love vs Sex 252)

‘Yes, you call it love but I call it torture,’ I said. ‘Why did you let me go into society if you thought it so evil that you ceased to love me because of it?’

‘It was not society, my dear,’ he said.

‘Why did you not use your authority?’ I went on. ‘Why didn’t you lock me up or kill me? I would be better off than I am now, deprived of all that made up my happiness. I should have been very happy, instead of being ashamed.’

I began to sob again and hid my face.

‘Yes,’ he began, as though continuing his thoughts aloud, ‘all of us, and especially you women, must discover for ourselves all the futilities of life in order to come back to life itself: the experience of other people is no good. At that time you were far from having got to the end of that sweet and charming nonsense that I used to enjoy in you, and I left you to have your fill of it, feeling that I had no right to stand in your way, although for me the time for that sort of thing was long past.’

‘If you loved me ,’ I said, ‘why did you stand by and allow me to go through with it?’

‘Because even if you had wanted to accept my experience  you would not have been able to: you had to find out for yourself — and you did.’

‘You thought it all out – thought it all out very carefully,’ I said. ‘You did not love very much.’

We lapsed into silence again.

‘That was harsh, what you said just now, but it is the truth,’ he exclaimed, suddenly rising to his feet and beginning to walk about the veranda. ‘Yes, it’s the truth. I was to blame,’ he added, stopping opposite me. ‘Either I ought not to have allowed myself to love you at all, or I ought to have loved you in a simpler way.’

Happily Ever After

Leo Tolstoy          1859

Cribb Comment: I believe this passage exquisitely portrays a dynamic all too common in any relationship involving one member who is maturely and aptly at peace with themselves and their existence versus another member who is immaturely floundering about in nervous energy anxiety (etc.) and the narcissism of satiating themselves in societal delusion and distraction. The passage is even more profound and relevant for this dynamic when a significant age disparity exists between these two entities. The man of this passage (the more mature entity in this case) profoundly loves this woman and he almost refused to marry her earlier in the book because of his prophetic knowledge of how things were likely to play out. The last sentence in the quote refers to this. His other counter to this tragedy, in this very same sentence, is to say “or I ought to have loved you in a simpler way.” My interpretation is to assume that this simpler way means without such passion or remaining further removed, but it is feasible that he is simply referring to enacting greater patience and personal acceptance of the “cost” involved in remaining unselfish and supremely stable in such a relationship. Any of these behaviors by the man would have required enormous self sacrifice and essentially equate to him moving into a long term yielding (negative) transcendence state (instead of a horizontal or upperward transcendence state) with someone he dearly loved.

At the time of this passage in the book, the female character has already bucked a simple, intimate, and quieter life with her husband, opting instead for the chaotic excitement and thrill which dwells most manicaly in the nervous energy of the fickle societal herd. She has run that course out of her own choice with some component of said choice being related to her utter defiance of her husbands stable posture and contentment which she cannot help but perceive primarily as authoritarian in nature. After profoundly discovering through her own experience and suffering that the societal bosom is never more than a “futility of life,” our female character must look to blame another for the consequences of her own unrelenting egocentric perspective. She must blame him, damn him for being too authoritarian or for not being authoritarian enough, to justify the suffering and consequence that she so proudly chose to march into with such gleeful determination. Our female character now sees all of the wasted and nonrecoverable time that she threw away in the suffering and consequence of her independent choices.

Cribb          2018


The Relativity of Expertise (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 239)

My brother recently adopted a new puppy and my dad has aided and assisted him throughout the process, as well as with some of the follow up veterinary care required. My brother doesn’t talk to me, that’s another lengthy story, but my dad and I are closer than ever and we have real conversations with one another; you know, the ones where both people speak and both people listen.

My dad, to his credit, has learned to listen and abide by the veterinary recommendations and behavioral advice I give him. He has seen the repetitive objective evidence and listened to my observations and justifications for why I approach things the way I do. He has accepted my expertise.

Oddly enough, even after I graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, my mom would continuously argue with me about the facts of physiology, anatomy, diagnostics, historical case evidence, and behavior. She was discomforted by my knowledge and expertise on the subject, framing these qualities as “my opinion” while framing her own uneducated and unchallenged rationale and comforting delusion as “indisputable fact.” Let’s just summarize and say my brother eventually went down that same wormhole of delusion for the same exact behavior glitch in his psyche.

So, my brother is failing in house training his dog, effectively walking his dog, and in setting up the other proper pack boundaries and structure for his dog which expresses itself in other undesirable manifestations. He had decided his puppy had “physical” issues to explain these failures, which is highly unlikely, up until recently.

My dad tried over and over to pass along my advice to my brother without success, without heed or hesitation, for the longest time. That all met a deaf ear and a closed mind.

My father finally established some breakthrough success getting creative and giving my brother a book written by Cesar Milan (of course, a sensational society approved celebrity). My brother apparently read at least some of the book and since doing so he has improved much of the puppies behavior. He was even proud of his learned knowledge and took the time to show my dad some of the tricks “he knew” about puppy behavior.

My dad and I laughed about this the other day. It wasn’t to be mean and it wasn’t to be ugly. It was to process the stultifying denial and delusion we all tend to inflict upon ourselves in some vain attempt to avoid our fear of one thing or the other. My brother was in fulminant denial until he could twist reality enough to his liking to accept its validity. It seems so bizarre and so backward, but I promise you I see the same behavior from some other pet owners quite often.

At the end of our discussion about this issue, my dad suddenly turned to me and chuckled a good bit as he seemed to stumble upon an internal epiphany. He said “Jeff, can you imagine what kind of reaction or response Steven would have if you strolled into his civil engineering office and started telling him how to build things, manage a project, or compute a critical and complicated engineering formula that carried great liability with it? Can you just imagine what kind of hellacious hissy fit and temper tantrum he would have?”

I smiled back at my dad and I thought “Wow, dad just keeps surprising me with his observations lately, how awesome is that?” But I held the thought silently and only chose to reply “Absolutely, I have no doubt whatsoever how he would react. He would lose his shit like Mount Vesuvius.” And we laughed a little bit more together about all of it because we both knew how profoundly true that statement happens to be.

Jeff Cribb DVM          2018

Verbalized, It Becomes an Ethical Problem (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 236)

“Words, words, words.” And what’s in a word? Answer: corpses, millions of corpses. And the moral of that is, Keep Your Trap Shut; or if you must open it, never take what comes out of it too seriously. Katy kept our traps firmly shut. She had the instinctive wisdom that taboos the four-letter words (and a fortiori the scientific polysyllables), while tacitly taking for granted the daily and nightly four-letter acts to which they refer. In silence, an act is an act is an act. Verbalized and discussed, it becomes an ethical problem, a casus belli, the source of a neurosis.

The Genius & The Goddess

Aldous Huxley          1955

Cribb Comment: Keeping within the context of the entire novel, it appears that Huxley is illustrating the difficulty of resolving and unifying the antagonistic paradox he feels exists between spiritual grace (verbally expressed awareness and contemplation) and animal grace (instinctual physical behavior) in a union between two souls that each originate out of opposite ends of this spectrum. Elsewhere in the novel, he appears to suggest that “human grace” is also a part of this dynamic and that the complete spectrum must be incorporated together in unison if an individual is to attain the highest level of awareness and transcendence possible in our existence.

Cribb          2018

The Act and Threat of Opening Up (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 235)

If you feel guilt, shame or anxiety when you actually open up to someone as the real you, as your genuine inner essence of perception, experience, and contemplation, by sharing a raw and fully exposed conversation with them, you should not be ashamed, nor fear that person, nor assume that you have overburdened that person with something unjust or sinful.

You should reflect and understand why you felt a visceral perception that you could be yourself, fully vulnerable and uncloaked, in your interaction with that person and you should also consider why your normal and longstanding inner circle of friends, family, and associates has marked you to feel that guilt, shame, and anxiety whenever you have tried to let the real you come out and play in your true glorious splendor in the past. Do not confuse those who have done such marking on your soul with those who are scapegoated as the abomination for trying to reverse the spell, for trying to reverse the curse.

There are dangerous doppelgangers, mimics, and chameleons who might sweep in and take advantage of a soul yearning to free itself openly, but those imposters will always be posturing, leveraging, and controlling in intent, kind of like that marking inner circle, but just better at it than that collective.

The genuine empaths, the lovers of shared core essence, will not posture, leverage, or destabilize another soul, so that they might feed upon it or pull its strings. They will help lift you out of all the traps, darkness, and deception, because they genuinely delight in seeing you shine in your own unique and fulminant radiance.

The authentic and adept empath removes the marks of the inner circles and the marks of the mimickers, counters the curses, and slays the shame, guilt, and anxiety if you allow them the opportunity. They worship you like no other and they do so not out of need, boredom or self empowerment. They worship you like no other, because they perceive that core essences are intended to shine in the undeniable exquisite beauty of their unique individual composition. That shine is the universal element of union, love, and unyielding transcendence. That shine is the culminating and supreme grace of our collective existence.

Cribb          2018

Orgasm, Agenda, Assimilation, Need, and the Tides (Love vs Sex 249)

But fun for me was sneaking off to peer into a tidal pool to grasp the intricacies of the creatures that lived there. Sustenance for me was tied to ecosystem and habitat, orgasm the sudden realization of the interconnectivity of living things. Observation had always meant more to me than interaction. He knew all of this, I think. But I never could express myself that well to him, although I did try, and he did listen. And yet, I was nothing but expression in other ways. My sole gift or talent, I believe now, was that places could impress themselves upon me, and I could become a part of them with ease. Even a bar was a type of ecosystem, if a crude one, and to someone entering, someone without my husbands agenda, that person could have seen me sitting there and had no trouble imaging that I was happy in my little bubble of silence. Would have had no trouble believing I fit in.

Yet even as my husband wanted me to be assimilated in a sense, the irony was that he wanted to stand out.

“Ghost bird, do you love me?” he whispered once in the dark, before he left for his expedition training, even though he was the ghost. “Ghost bird, do you need me?” I loved him, but I didn’t need him, and I thought that was the way it was supposed to be. A ghost bird might be a hawk in one place, a crow in another, depending on the context. The sparrow that shot up into the blue sky one morning might transform mid-flight into an osprey the next. This was the way of things here. There were no reasons so mighty that they could override the desire to be in accord with the tides and the passage of seasons and the rhythms underlying everything around me.


Jeff Vandermeer          2014

The Only Tolerable Level of Intelligence and Education (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 232)

The average person tends to believe quite vehemently that anyone who possesses less intelligence, awareness, and educational or vocational experience than themselves, is an entity unworthy of significant recognition and consideration in the grand scheme of things.

Paradoxically or conversely, these same average people also passionately discount, ignore, and reject, any figure of higher intellect, awareness, and educational or vocational experience than themselves, unless that figure’s beliefs and agendas align perfectly with their own.

So, the nature of the average person’s perception regarding the worth of intelligence and education in the world is based solely on self relativity. In other words, based only on what empowers them alone above everyone else. What better way to bastardize and negate the principles of intelligence, awareness, and educational/vocational experience, than to allow this self relativity of satiating delusion to run rampant over these guardians and defenders of objective reality?

Cribb          2018