A Technocracy of the Soul
There’s Pocket, a browser plug-in for Google Chrome I have on both my laptop and phone. I use Pocket to save blog posts, videos, poetry, podcasts, and music I regard as relevant to The Present Moment (TPR), the sum-total of our collective being and becoming.
Articles on Pocket are tagged, indexed, and sorted. Five of my tags are Absurdism, Brexit, Flow, Drugs, and Dan Savage. The most important tag is Bible, which I reserve for media of canonical importance. The Bible tag includes (a) The Most Photographed Barn in America, (b) one of my favourite Bukowski poems,(c) The Closing of the Liberal Mind, and (d) a twenty second clip of a neoconservative licking a comb.
Then there’s Google Keep, which has a few uses —ranging from prosaic note-to-self reminders to urgent catechisms that accost me uninvited. It is organised by tags such as #blogideas, #globalweirding, and #relationships. Posts in Google Keep include, for example, (a) Chicken for Children 8 a.m. Friday, (b) You subvert my pretensions about who I am, (c) Money for Festo (55k), and (d) Service-delivery NGOs can be testing grounds for more important advocacy efforts — but they must celebrate what they do.
Digitally, there is of course also my Outlook Calendar, my Outlook Mail, my Google Mail, my Facebook, my Instagram, my Reddit Account, my Teuxdeux, my Flickr, my Tumblr, and my WhatsApp, all of which occasionally contain some media or text of particular relevance to The Present Moment (TPR).
There’s also my daily journal, which is for personal reflections on my life and my present situation(s) as they relate to The Present Moment (TPR). The second most recent entry is a diagram of a sine wave: A conception of my life as historically sinusoidal with alternate moments of possibility and impossibility. Here are some other excerpts from my private journal: (a) “This feels premature as I am not even half-way yet,” (b) “Yesterday I trialled an inverted day,” (c) “The sense of being a nobody lingers,” (d) “She has been really good to me,” and (e) “I wonder about the extent to which I ‘narrativise’ my life versus thinking of it as incomprehensible.”
There are also my career diagrams, a few five-year plans on A3 paper devised using The Odyssey Plan Method from Designing Your Life. These are adhered to a wall in my bedroom. There are three. In no particular order, their names are: (a) Consultant/writer/liberal translator, (b) Revisit activism, and (c) Commedia del arte [sic].
My girlfriend and I also started painting key moments from our time in Africa on a spare wall. Key moments illustrated so far include (a) Wayfinding pink ski pants, (b) The time I was Jeff the Horse in Dungeons and Dragons, and (c) The time(s) I killed plant(s) symbolic of our fledgling relationship. Also adhered to the white-space in the painting zone is a list of things we want to do whilst in Africa. These include (a) Visit South Africa, (b) Werewolf Party, and (c) Co-Write Article on Gender Politics.
Entries in Pocket are usually made at work, on the bus, on the couch, at the kitchen table, or at my desk. Entries in Google Keep are usually made whilst walking, sitting in a cafe, laying supine, or on the can.
Entries in my personal journal are usually made at my dining table, at dawn, with the curtains open. Painting is done on weekend nights, after wine, with music playing. The career plans were done eating vegan food, in a cafe, by a river.
Concepts, emotions, and actions that relate to The Present Moment (TPR) are gathered, collected, and indexed. Digital catalogging ensures everything important has a home and is readily accessible. Cloud can do what memory cannot. I’m also fortunate to have a professional background in the pedagogy of lived experience. Reflection ensures that potentiality becomes praxis. Information is at our fingers, but praxis must reside in our muscles. Digital and analog multi-modal collection, encoding, and rehearsal ensures nothing gets lost, nothing gets forgotten, nothing worthwhile goes unimplemented.
I don’t want to be obsessive, so I am of course also careful to take time for myself. I‘m fully and totally aware of the importance of being present and going with the flow. I’ve listened to Out of Your Mind, thirteen hours of compiled Alan Watts’ lectures. I’ve read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and it’s lesser known sequel, Lila: An Inquiry in to Morals. I sometimes listen to Talk Talk’s The Rainbow and just lay there. I once worked for Australia’s leading mindfulness therapist. I've done Yoga in the shade of a volcano.
I listen to old school jazz or Erik Satie most mornings. I keep my workspace tidy. I have a regular breakfast of half-granola half-weetbix, low fat milk, two small bananas, three spoons of no-fat yoghurt, and freshly squeezed passionfruit. I prefer to brew rather than buy coffee and have a favourite local grind. I’m brewing coffee right now, actually. Yes — at this very moment.
I stay in touch with family, I’m a good boyfriend, I’m kind to my friends, I help my neighbours, I check-in with my colleagues, I support local business-people, I employ vulnerable youth, I have friends unlike me, and I’m gentle with strangers.
I don’t watch television, I rarely play video games, I don’t have screen time before bed, I keep my phone face down and on silent during dates, I don’t drink alcohol alone, and I don’t do drugs.
I notice things like old men whistling tunes, kingfishers resting on power lines, and flowers blossoming in my garden.
I can taste and appreciate a complimentary sprig of mint in a glass of soda water.
Sometimes I skip showers or take a taxi to work to save ten minutes.
I get about five or six hours sleep each night.
I read a lot.
I’m functioning really well.
My life is routinised, optimised, and streamlined for maximum insight in to The Present Moment (TPR) and subsequent realisation of my role in that moment.
I absolutely positively completely do not feel lost and confused in an immense sea of detail.
I am resolutely obstinately unerringly certain that my life is not an undifferentiated stream of activity.
I authoritatively commandingly insistently assert that life is not the mute scream of an infant future.
I feel pleasantly calmly dreamily in the present moment.
I do not believe, entertain, or consider the possibility that the biography of my life will be titled: “Um.”
I once worried that Life was something just around the corner.
Luckily, I’ve finally arrived!
Life is here, life is here, life is here, life is here.
Fiddle-dee-dee / dee-dee / dee-doo.
It’s so wonderful to be me,
Don’t you think so too?