In the old times, you know, things were figure-out-able. The human being learned fire and cooking after hunting and shelter. The beast could figure out everything, on up to science and writing. Just like the first accomplishments, the doing of things was a matter of common sense, intuition, a desire to solve a related urge. There was a large emotional element, gut instinct, the heart to keep at it and persevere, and where there was hope there was luck and spiritual insight. Nature offered its riches, healing roots, plants with essential sustenance. The being had a poetic sense, that the way things worked were related to how the terms regarding objects were expressed. With ears one could hear, eyes provided sight, touch let shape be tangible, the moon and the sun followed each other in night and day, trees and plants had roots and reach, the seasons came and went, sometimes too hot, sometimes too cold, but survivable. People gathered into friendships. There was always the astounding inner sense of love. A poetic term by which to approach a fact of life and the world allowed progress in understanding. People started writing and then came along the book in all its history and story.
And then, somehow, things got complicated. What was once natural, the therapeutic effect of a gathering with friends and some acquaintances and even strangers, became controlled, licensed, legally controlled, codified into proper behavior, particularly if you wanted to make a living at it, being a therapist, let's say. What was once teaching, that younger people sat in a room and listened to someone with some mastery of a subject, advanced to the point where those with the highest credential of their professions were advanced without the slightest regard for actual teaching. The literary world advanced the same way, along with so many other professions, that there became such a gap between the actual doing of a thing--which of course was a natural thing for the spiritual creature born in godly image and ability and reach--and the profession--which preserved itself ever forward--grew large enough, so as to squash anyone with the original desire to go about figuring things out as given to by innate talent.
Einstein was the 'certified ink-pisser' clerk, and the professional physicist was happy serving the state through the invention of poison gas as a weapon and even personally observing its first implementation on the behalf of nationalism on the battlefields of carnage.
And all along, the being carried within the miracle of its creation all the beauty, all the wisdom, all the sanctity, all the gifts and abilities of the Buddha and Jesus Christ and other such luminaries you might name whether or not they have been obscured in normal human memory.
The barman gets to the end of his week, each night a service to humanity, allowing people to generally stay around as was reasonable. There was the delivery of dinner to pay the bills of a restaurant, and then the attending to the social gathering that enhanced its regular business. He gets up at four without a lot of enthusiasm. It was probably about twelve hours earlier that he made it finally home after the last gathering after an arduous night of service. Having no friends outside of the drinkers and diners who come and hang about, no life, no dates, no woman to go home to, nothing in particular to rise up and tend to the next morning as most everyone would have a day job to go to, some with more leeway than others, and being generally good at heart, if a little bit sad, in need of friendship, yeah, the pattern was well established.
And the day after the week, or really every day, the same thing from the past would come upon him at waking and haunt him, even if he meditated his way above it into some form of thoughtless mental space, that space the creature still preserved and kept, even if it made no sense in terms of the bombardment of messages from the modern world. That space the creature still preserved and kept, the place of some peace, acceptance, perhaps a newer sense of perspective, one that would not make the coming day an entire waste, allowing him to move forward, even if moving forward was itself completely instinctive, not of any thinking for true practical matters, such as, to bore you, thinking about matters of income, etc. A yoga pose, the lighting of an incense stick underneath the Norfolk Monkey Puzzle tree on top of the radiator by the window sill next to the Tibetan Buddha statue and other various icons and a do-dad or two, the finding of some 'healing chakra' or 'Indian background flute' music, this seemed like progress. It brought peace, and the green tea, the quiet, the water with lemon before solid breakfast--just in case he was going to do some yoga--cleaned out the system of what it had endured into the night before, which involved, of course, a numbing of the nerves.
But why had he fallen into such a mess... Had he shown any integrity as he sought out the resolution of his own higher education, which, by a process that seemed natural enough, forced his hand into being his own kind of writer with his own style (as might have been natural to the original creature allowed such opportunity)... Why had things turned out so agonizingly with the beautiful girl of, what seemed to him, a matching female spirit full of her natural gifts toward words and everything else with cleverness and passionate ease... As if at every turn the step forward was somehow sabotaged, self-based, by the insecurity of youth, by his own general stupidity, by misunderstanding, by not calling that first Easter night after being sort of waylaid by his grandfather... And ever there was the intuition that she could like him just as much as he liked her, but that negative educational experiences and the neglect that marks the serious profession of college professors had made him feel a bit darker than he needed to be, wary, less cooperative, all in ways he could not control.
And so it all had come about, and each event being a microcosm of that gulf that falls, a collective schizophrenia, words not matched to the deeper wish, between the natural human intent and all its desires and the polite construing of things that something located in the rules of a society and its business functions insists upon.
But he had the old blood in him, and could not make, neatly, such easy jumps as everyone else seemed quite capable of. He found himself rather alone.
What do you know, the voice of modern reasons tells him. Good luck with your yoga mediations.
What direction do you go in? What direction is there?
"Maybe you've worn out your salon, my friend. High time to think of your future."
But that's the problem: we all have the subconscious that we were given, that was made for us. Whatever that subconscious is, it is a gift, a thing passed down by rare and sensitive beings who represented the good, if not the best, of education. Jesus as a youth strikes one as comfortable with the developed depths of his own; standing on the steps of the Temple, he is not haranguing, but simply has a grasp, a grasp of that which is at the center, the underpinnings, to which all the top structure and texts are in silent alignment and agreement therewith. As a kid does sometimes. Being freer to express an innocent opinion without shame, as the grown writer might feel some sort of awkwardness 'putting things out there.'
So it is that the world, the city, the avenue with its shops, that is a projection of the typical Madison Avenue subconscious might be different from that of the individual. Hunter S. Thompson's projected subconscious was a lot different from Nixon's or J. Edgar Hoover's, certainly a departure from the mainstream. Jimi Hendrix's 'she slams the door in his drunken face, he cries oh girl you must be mad, whatever happened to the sweet love you and me had, and tears of burning shame streaming down his face make his garden green; and so castles made of sand melts (sic) into the sea, eventually,' is different from the top forty norm, as might be gathered from the sort of Vedic Buddhist album cover. Kerouac, you'd say the same of. You and I see the commercial subconscious projected along the avenue, but it runs deeper than that.
Maybe a salon isn't the worst thing, at least for those of us who find ourselves out of synch, at loose ends. Perhaps that's why some of us fall into the Hemingway model, of needing action and contact, but then need that bridge back to the calming center, words offering a way of contact with the depths. The words ease the isolation, the sense of having a different take, of being nervous enough to be odd, not sure where to participate, unsure of the meaning of any human contact, as the earliest ones may well too have been wary of, prone to be on guard about.