Tales From a Distant Land

Take me away,
Elevate me to the green pastures suspended in the heavens,
Remove the blackthorns embedded in my skin,
Make me light, free as a feather,
Help me break through,
That great barrier,
Burn the curtains, destroy the stage,
Let there be no more actors,
And let us rejoice in the purity of our regained innocence
My downfall was insight. I always knew that I had something extra, or – maybe – that I lacked something vital everyone else possessed. It’s always difficult to know such things, in fact I spent many hours trying to find out whether I was blessed or cursed to possess so much insight, and I never reached an answer. You see, I am a very bitter man, challenge me, show me what I lack, even indirectly, and I feel like a failure. But don’t be mistaken; that doesn’t push me to work harder or change my fate for I’ve lost my drive years ago, it just fills me with hate and anger. But even in the midst of my bitterness I adorned the dizzy heights of insight. From up there I could see everything clearly, beyond the haze of the petty successes and accomplishments in the game you call life. Yes, it is a game, and you only have two options: You can either play the game or see yourself playing the game. And I chose to use my third eye. I chose to watch myself talk, act, eat, play, fuck and all those things that you do. I am an anthropologist, no, a philosopher, perhaps the only one who managed to achieve that elusive reduction, that absolute bracketing of all reality, of all the delusions you construct to make your game possible and bearable. I am above you, all of you, yet I am also nothing.

Insight, a relentless whore that pulls you to her moist insides then expels you, leaving you drowning in emptiness – that was my fetish. I chose to ignore your reality, to learn the rules of the game just to mock you – that was my fetish. You might be thinking by now: What a sick man. Yes I am sick, but only in your eyes, I am sick in your stupid game. But I am braver than all of you. I chose to give up your life. I once lived like you, life was all planned for me, and all I had to do was live it, to learn the algorithms that you employ in your everyday life, to laugh when I should, to cry when it’s appropriate. All I had to do was go from A to B. You provided me with everything I needed, you even gave me an afterlife, you promised me with heaven and when that didn’t work you blinded me with money, you terrorized me with your ads, you made me believe that all I need is what you have to offer. But I escaped your hell, I renounced your cheap thrills, your debased offers, but it wasn’t enough. I still existed inside your dome, inside the very fabric of your ugly reality and I had to get out.

It began as an experiment and became my drug; watching myself every second of the day: waking up in the morning, toasting the bread, spreading the butter, brewing the coffee. And lo! I was free; I became master of your words, of your language. I had the power to make things whatever I wanted them to be. I was no longer trapped by your concepts or even your rules- I was creating my own. I once observed a tree for a whole day, I was sitting next to it feeling its bark, smelling the wood, tasting the leaves, I was experiencing a life that I never knew existed, I was happy. But it all came at a price, creating my own reality – is that even possible?

I once had one foot in the abyss of darkness, barely holding on to the final thread tying me to this life, your life. What choice did I have, where was I to find a foothold? Where were the primary reasons that could halt the infinite regress into doubt? What am I to hold to if I give up your play? But my desire to be free was greater than my fear. I renounced the final chains and lost myself in the well of nothingness with the hope that I might, just might emerge on the other side. For years I lived in fear, I existed as a stranger in a world that lost all meaning, everything that I set my eyes on was something new, untouched, unmediated, pure consciousness. I had nothing to organise my experience, no form to magically bestow upon the world. It was an enormous responsibility. I was reborn, free to create my own reality, my own world. But I felt threatened, by you. You continued to exist in my world, as robots, automatons getting about in a predictable fashion, predictable to an extent that doesn’t permit life, for what is life but a series of spontaneous crystallisations of consciousness? You had the same dreams, fought for the same things, felt the same feelings and thought the same thoughts. But I had no place among you; I ruined the fragile harmony of your act. I was alone, singing my own Libretto, out of tune with everyone yet my voice vibrated with the strings of nature.

In time I re-established my relation with things, I was no longer limited by your classifications and categorisations; my perceptions where immediate and direct. But it wasn’t easy, I had my moments of weakness, and I learned the hard way that I cannot escape you, except by death. You set a decree upon me. I was not allowed to exist unless I pay my dues, unless I suffer for tarnishing your perfect painting. I challenged the whole edifice of your life, of your reason. I brought fear right into the depths of your being, I made you feel how cheap and pointless your life is. I was the sore that ruined the perfection of your common sense and I had to be removed. For years you locked me in your institutions, you drugged me, humiliated me. You didn’t even attempt to bring me back to your life, the life I despised. You just wanted to silence me, to shut up the voice that could topple your flimsy towers of reason, custom, and tradition, towers you erected to prevent yourself from facing the responsibility and might of life in all its glory. And you broke me, you fractured my will, you cut my tongue just to protect yourself and continue living in your filthy holes behind your mighty barriers.

And you succeeded. For years I walked with your chains inside my mind. Life became a distant memory save for the occasional glimpse of a bygone time. I was drained of any vital organising impulse to motivate my existence. And it was then that death dawned upon me as a saviour. Death would protect me from the raids dawning upon me from the depths of my chained soul. Death would relieve me of my impotence in the face of an existence that I was deprived of the power to change. But I wasn’t allowed to die. Your nauseating ‘humanity’ dictated that you save me. Yes. After killing my soul you had to protect my body so I remain another shadow, just like everyone else: A number in the dark. And it was then that I decided to retaliate. I gave you my body to save and protect and I killed whatever remained of myself. I was finally dead and if I returned to write this it was only to remind you that seeing yourself every morning in the mirror is no guarantee that you are alive. As for me I no longer need to talk or think because I know everything.
Mohammed Abo El Leil. April 2006.


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