Saturday, 7 January 2012
Where I'm coming from
Before I launch into my new era of campaigning I thought it would be a good idea to give you an idea of where I’m coming from so below is a short biography of my journey so far.
All my life I had been essentially directionless and feeling as if there was something missing in my life, a missing piece of the puzzle that is me. I’m sure that would have been the pattern of my whole existence if it had not been for two very important events. The first event was meeting, in 1995, J Michael Straczynski, the creator of sci-fi series “Babylon 5”, who was able to put substance to the ghost that was haunting my life. He was explaining the mystery behind two of the characters in his show, one of whom asks “what do you want?” and the other who asks “who are you?”, questions that were asked in that order across the first two seasons. Straczynski explained that the characters who answered the first question did so without knowing the answer to the second and that, without that knowledge, were doomed to make bad choices because, unless you know who you are, how can you really know what you want? This simple truth was a revelation to me as it was the answer to what was missing in my life in a few simple words, two questions that would unlock my spiritual cage and set me off on my journey of self-discovery. I have not yet found out the answer to the question of who I am but it has given me some kind of direction where once I had none and I believe that the journey is more important than the destination.
Taking a quick step back for a moment before I describe the second event that changed my life, I must explain a peculiarity of my personality. I have always been aware of having two competing personalities within my own, one is the scientific and the other the philosopher, and between the two there are diametrically opposed points of view. I have to say at this juncture that I am not talking about having a case of Multiple Personality Disorder, merely a heightened form of the human capacity to have two different personalities to suit the social situation. This dual personality is shared by everyone to some degree, it allows us to put up with people we can barely stand or otherwise have to get on with even if we have an aversion to them. Not everyone, however, has two competing personalities that are so opposed to each other. The turmoil that rages within me from holding two such violently opposing personalities is, as you can imagine, very hard although it has provided me with the ability to see all points of view on issues and has given me a high degree of creativity too.
I was under the impression that I was alone in my affliction until, in 2005, I read a book on CG Jung and his theories. It gave me the first hint that there was someone out there who knew what it was like to have such division in their mind. I immediately took to Jung and his theories and decided to seek out a copy of his autobiography, “Memories, Dreams, Reflections”. It was a long search but, in 2009, I found a copy and it was a revelation on par with my meeting with Straczynski. I felt a kinship with Jung that I have never felt with anyone in my life; his world view, his personality, everything he was struck a chord in my soul. I will never be half the man Jung was, but what part I could achieve would be a testament to his influence on my development.
I have had other influences on my personality but Straczynski and Jung have been the greatest. Between meeting Straczynski and finding Jung, I became interested in politics, specifically political ideologies, and, from my interest in them, I became interested in philosophy, theology and anthropology. Together with my life-long interest in psychology, my studies in these areas have informed my creative efforts and my spiritual journey to find the answers to not only who I am and what I want but also what it is to be human and what needs to be done to change the world for the better.
I once started a magazine to explore every subject under the sun, a beginner’s guide to everything if you will. It was to act as a place for people to discuss and debate, for amateurs to be helped by those with expertise in the subjects we covered and for the experts to gain an outsiders view of their subjects from amateurs. The magazine was called Enlightenment. I have always thought that to be an apt title and so my new project will be called the Enlightenment Project. I hope you will be interested enough to join me on my journey.
Until next time…