Fela Kuti – Zombie

What is the Validity of Knowledge Gained in Peak-Experiences?

While I regularly entangle myself in the webs of the internet, willowing through portals and down wormholes exploring the dark sticky areas where I can’t feel another’s presence, I sidewinded into some delving thoughts that made me look at myself.

I’ve been reading Abraham Maslow on Peak Human Experiences and recognised elements of what he had to say in 1970. Incredible how far behind I am. I wish we were saying these kinds of things today.

Here’s a snippet which I found related to me, you, all of us, most:

“The surf will be here forever and you will soon be gone. So hang on to it, appreciate it, be fully conscious of it. Be grateful for it. You are lucky.”

Joy, Ecstasy; these are real emotions attainable by everyone, but the real superlative living is recognising how extraordinairy the ordinairy really is. Look at how you can see eachother using your eyes, those sensory perceptors giving you a live feed of light, colour, shade, the external forces extrinsic to the mind flying inside.

A fraction of you is revealed when you speak. Consider the person you are inside your head, the person who speaks from your mouth, and the person others perceive you to be. If each were to meet they’d be unrecognisable.

People barely listen to the miscommunicated, ill-thought out words, that poorly reflect the muddled thoughts of what one was thinking projected by the incredible complex system of irrational emotions we are perpetually juggling.

No wonder it’s easy for big business to prey on our wishes to be individuals, our personal isolation is practically innate. Most feel they are unrelatable to eachother and seek lowest common grounds.

Think on this. It is natural for us to communicate. Maslow says we could not exist without a society. Buddhism says without another perceiver who are we to say we exist. We need eachother. It’s natural for us to communicate and we do it effortlessly too.

How much are we conscious of speaking?

We are on autopilot for many of our daily actions. We don’t forcibly think about chewing our food. We don’t measure how we step up onto a curb. We don’t remind ourselves to breathe. We have Morning Routines. We do these actions using what neuroscientists call the ‘default mode network‘. Our autopilot. We aren’t thinking about what we are doing, we just do. Kind of like those other animals and their natures.

By no surprise then, we think before we speak as much as a sheep thinks before he bleats.

Some of the reasons we place ourselves as God’s gift to the world, as above the animals, is we can say we have greater intellect. We have the best memories. We invented technology. We have philosophy, we wonder why? Our mental capacity is superior as we have the largest brains relative to our size. No doubt we have dominated the Earth with our proud powers of extinction, not only of other animals but of our future selves too.

Yet with all this brain power our communication is poor. Admittedly, we can barely interpret our own emotions in our thoughts. When we say I’m feeling happy today, do we say this to ourselves or do we know it intuitively, and behave differently, we change the way we communicate in body language as well as our tones and register. It does not effect how much we consider before words tumble out of our mouths. We can say the wrong things in a good mood as much as in a bad mood.

I’ve been focusing on questions these last few years.

Calling for information out of someone requires them to stop and think, as opposed to acting and reacting, to give correct or biased information that suits them – check out the numerous lies we say – either way it involves a consideration of themselves, what they feel they should say and depends on who they are talking to including the context. There’s lots to cognize. Brilliant.

People like talking about themselves, and they like those who will listen to it even more.

Maslow outlines: ‘The empirical fact is that self-actualizing people, our best experiencers, are also our most compassionate, our great improvers and reformers of society, our most effective fighters against injustice, inequality, slavery, cruelty, exploitation (and also our best fighters for excellence, effectiveness, competence). And it also becomes clearer and clearer that the best “helpers” are the most fully human persons. What I may call the bodhisattvic path is an integration of self-improvement and social zeal, i.e., the best way to become a better “helper” is to become a better person. But one necessary aspect of becoming a better person is via helping other people. So one must and can do both simultaneously.’

I strive to express myself fully to become an example for others to follow and make their own. By talking to others and asking them about themselves, it makes them consider themselves, to think about their situation, and allows them an opportunity to express what they have on their mind after thinking about it.

We are cognizant animals. We are lucky. A sheep can bleat, but we able to say far more than that to eachother. Lets try.

Right, with all the pontificating out of the way I’ll point you to the excellent jam at the top of the page. Fela Kuti is a wonderful Nigerian saxophonist who essentially invented the Afrobeat genre back in the 70s, this record Zombie, is his best, dating 1977. There was politcal strife around this release as Kuti was quite the vocal dissident against the still corrupt government of Nigeria, and so upon Zombie’s imminent release governmental troops stormed his apartments as an attempt to arrest him. Discovering that Kuti had escaped, the forces trashed his home and, I kid you not, threw his mother out of the apartment window, a fall that caused fatal injuries. Crazy! Real life is scarier than fiction. That’s a fact.

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