Today I find myself back in the realm of making life or death decisions regarding myself. Last Saturday, on the return journey to our coach, I think I may have overdone it. Most of the villagers who attended the Durham Miners Gala suffered aches and stiffness the following day – including me – but the exhaustion has not worn off in my case. The sensations I am presently experiencing remind me of when my heart failed last November and, at the moment, I am undecided as to what action to take.
So, No; I haven’t been to see my GP; I haven’t reported it to anyone until now (by posting this blog); and, No, I have no immediate plans to anything about how I am feeling at the moment. Of all the ‘intellectual positions’ I am capable of taking, I suspect that this is the one that frightens people the most – particularly those who care for me. Nevertheless, I will not relinquish it because, for me, it is the position of greatest ‘power’ I can hold. It is a shaman’s position and I claim to be shamanic in my spiritual practices, so the issue ought to pop up sooner or later.
This blog focuses on this ‘power spot’ and the energies I believe flow in, around and through this ‘point of choice’ – do I choose to live or die? And why? How does anyone come to this point in their lives? This is my version – perhaps it might illuminate the path that so many others find themselves upon.
The Road to the Choice between Life and Death has been a very long one for me – it’s taken a good twelve years to dig itself into my psyche with the result that, now, I’ve become very familiar with the place. The roads leading to this choice spot can be many and varied, but they all have one thing in common: the choice they offer me is, as far as I am concerned, no choice at all and I prefer death than the ‘offer’ of ‘life’ being made to me.
The Road to this current choice began here, continued here and is culminating now as I come round to completing the ESA50 that leads to my next Work Capability Assessment. I hope each post explains the detail of my situation, together with the facts that support it. The consequence of this is that either I accept the bigotted and proven lies of this coalition government about me – and if I refuse, then I will be subject to the kind of sanctions I regard as closely akin to psychological torture.
As far as I am concerned, these are moral and ethical matters pertaining to law. As a desister, I have to obey the law. This becomes far more difficult when the government of my country has embarked upon a wholesale undermining of Law in Britain and I find myself on the receiving end of its declared ideology.
On the Today programme (BBC Radio4) on July 15, this exchange occurred (JH is John Humphrys; IDS is Ian Duncan Smith; Secretary of State for Work & Pensions):
JH: “The problem is that you made claims about how things were changing on the basis of the trials that were being carried out and all the rest of it, and they turned out not to be well-founded. You said we’ve seen already, already you said, this is a statement you made in May, already we’ve seen 8,000 people who would have been affected by the cap move into jobs. But when the National Statistics Authority looked at that, they said ‘not true’.”
IDS: “No, what they said was that you can’t absolutely prove that those two things are connected.”
JH: “Your statement is unsupported by the official statistics published by your own department.”
IDS: “Yes but by the way, you can’t disprove what I said either. The reality is [interruption] no, no, no, let me finish. There’s an answer.”
JH: “You can make any claim on that basis.”
IDS: “I am, I believe that this to be right. I believe that we are already seeing people go back to work, who were not going to go back to work until they were assured of the cap. Look we just published some polling today, John, on this very group.”
JH: “Polling isn’t statistics.”
IDS: “Hold on let me just give you this. We polled and we found that something like 72% of those who report have been very infrequently in work in the past since being notified by the cap have gone back to work. I believe that this will show, as we go forward, that people who were not seeking work are now seeking work because that’s the way to avoid the cap.”
For anyone still in any doubt that these coalition-espoused policies are ideological rather than evidence-based, try this from Chris Grayling, The Lord Chancellor:
The minister also insisted that his proposals to cut legal aid for much of prison law were ‘ideologically’. In a striking exchange, the minister was pushed by Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP for Islington North about the place of prison law in the legal aid scheme.
‘I suspect Mr Corbyn is very aware that there is an ideological difference between us on this,’ Grayling began. ‘I’m absolutely of the view that somebody in prison should have the right to legal aid when it is a matter relating to their sentence and the length of time they spend in prison. When it is any matter relating to the conditions in prison or the choice of prison in which they are detained, we have a prison complaints system and an ombudsman.’
Corbyn quoted the HM Inspectorate of Prisons stating the internal prisoner complaints system could not be ‘relied upon to consistently resolve prisoners’ complaints in a fair way’ and that there were ‘many examples’ where prisoners had been able to take the case to court through legal aid and achieve resolutions where the internal prison system failed.
Corbyn continued: ‘There might be an ideological difference, but you have a duty of care to ensure that prisoners are able to exercise their rights. You are trying to save £4 million on prison law. Is this ideological or practical?’
‘It is ideological,’ Grayling insisted. ‘I do not think prisoners should be able to go to court to debate which prison they sent to.’ Corbyn asked him about cases where prisoners claimed ill-treatment or suffered neglect to medical conditions. ‘I think these are matters for an ombudsman. What we are seeing is the area of prison law expanding dramatically. It has more than doubled in the last few years and, in my view, it now covers areas that it should not.’
I’m very grateful to all those interviewers who managed to coax these admissions from our government because at least everyone knows where they stand now. We are not dealing with people who based policy on evidence or facts, but upon ideology alone and I am already clear, in my own mind and after considering facts/evidence, exactly where this ideology intends to take us.
Returning to my own situation, these newly obtained comments are particularly informative. and contribute to my decision-making processes, which now goes something like this:-
I am clear in my own mind that my personal ethics, morals, faith and principles of desistance cannot allow me to collude with government ideology about me. I am also clear that my country’s government intends people to kill those who refuse to comply with their plans by resisting them. This presents me with a dilemma. Do I choose to preserve my own life in order that I might ‘live to fight another day’ or do I die in battle? The Honourable Warrior aspect in me says the latter is necessary at this point in time because the issue is still not being acknowledged by the wider British public. Until the public collectively decide that we prefer the rule of Law rather than the imposition of a psychotic (as in ‘unconnected with factual reality’) ideology, many more thousands of people are going to find themselves in my position but lacking the intelligence and resources I have been blessed with. If I have been so blessed, then I have a duty to speak my truth where others, for simply lack of authentic learning, cannot – it becomes my social responsibility to those more vulnerable than me. So who is it that deeply attracts and calls to my compassion – who needs my ‘blessing’ most? Those who are still half-asleep, or those who have already been marked for death?
“I know that people who hate have good reason to do so. But why should we always choose the cheapest and easiest way?”
(B:15.01.1914 D: 30.11.1943 in Auschwitz)
When the peoples of Europe experienced the imposition of this kind of ideology, individuals responded in different ways. Some escaped in the ‘nick of time’; some survived the concentration camps; some were sent to safety (<< this is my ‘uncle’); and some, even though they had the option to leave still chose to stay – and die – for their own reasons.
There is no doubting the value each and every survivor (above) contributed to the wisdom and culture of humanity following the demise of ideology and the rise of Human Rights. I could use their example as a template for my own behaviour now except they are all men and I am a woman. Etty Hillesum’s tale of personal and spiritual development in Amsterdam, during the Nazi-occupation of Holland, is the one that resonates with me most deeply at present.
I was a prisoner when I read her story for the first time as preparation for an ‘art’ display commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day. She led me to question many of my deeply held opinions as well as hone my ability to shine a light into the surrounding darkness.
I see no alternative: each of us must turn inward and destroy in himself all that he thinks he ought to destroy in others, and remember that every atom of hate we add to this world makes it still more inhospitable”.
“…you must be able to bear your sorrow; even if it seems to crush you, you will stand again, for human beings are strong and your sorrow must become an integral part of yourself… you mustn’t run away from it, but bear it like an adult. Do not relieve your feelings through hatred, do not seek to be avenged on all German mothers, for they too sorrow for their slain and murdered sons. Give your sorrow all the space and shelter in yourself that is its due, for if everyone bears his grief honestly and courageously, the sorrow that now fills the world will abate. But if you do not clear a decent shelter for your sorrow, and instead reserve most of the space inside you for hatred and thoughts of revenge – from which new sorrows will be born for others – then sorrow will never cease in this world and will multiply.”
“What is at stake is our impending destruction and annihilation; we can have no more illusions about that. They are out to destroy us completely, we must accept that and go on from there.”
This is exactly the kind of woman I admire – soul-searching the Light of Love in the darkest of places. Etty is a model of everything I value in a human being as well as a woman. Courageous to the last, she chose to remain with her people right to the bitter end, knowing exactly what she was facing and looking it straight in the eye. She doesn’t turn away and she doesn’t flinch from death but walks towards it in full awareness.
On witnessing the trains:
“There was a moment when I felt in all seriousness that after this night, it would be a sin to ever laugh again.”
About the guards:
” I study their faces. I try to look at them without prejudice… Now I am transfixed with terror. Oafish leering faces, in which one seeks in vain for even the slightest trace of human warmth”
I saw those same kind of faces on the government benches during the recent Commons debate regarding the need for cumulative impact assessment on disablity welfare cuts. The result included the same absence of human warmth.
Like Etty Hillesum before me, I hope I have looked clearly at my situation. To the shelter of pain and grief, I would add the need to honour our rage. Rage is not hatred when it erupts in the face of hate-filled circumstances – what is dangerous is to let it loose. To act from our rage is what they do – if I am the polarity of this particular expression of human behaviour, I must apply the same controls to myself as I would apply to them. This is why we have Laws – to enable such healthy boundaries to be established by fair minds. But there is no law being applied to Britain to halt the vicious and cruel treatment of citizens like me. No-one is launching a D-Day to deal with this as far as I can see. From here on in, I’m going to be on my own. Yet I am not alone – millions of British citizens are facing this ‘purge’ and, more alarmingly, a large section of society doesn’t appear to even know, so completely have they swallowed Coalition propaganda.
I will die from repressed rage at what is being done to my home; to my country and Her people. I will defy these lies by shining a bright light on every unwilling single step I have been forced down that brings me to the point where my body starts telling me my heart is failing. All true matters of Life and Death are the property of my God, except in issues of murder, as far as I am concerned. If, at this point, I better serve my God’s Will by dying then so be it – these are issues of Soul and I don’t argue. Death looks attractive because I will be free of my government’s insanity. Whilst I am alive, however, it is important for me to share this part of the journey with others in my position.
I believe that for as long as the sick, disabled, poor, jobless, homeless – all our social exiles regardless of physical form – are subject to the ideological whims of this government, each and every death in our community is now a result of serious breaches of our Human Rights. Each one of us who records our journey and whose name and memory is recalled by groups like Calum’s List (who, as far as I am concerned, follow in the footsteps of Simon Wiesenthal) provides evidence that will nail these bastards to the Law. If I have an ambition, for all of us, it is to make every Soul being destroyed in this way known. I want us to stop being statistical footballs and step out of those inhumanly-applied figures into our full humanity. I am not a statistic to be discarded for the convenience of liars. Perhaps my death – and the manner of my death – will change things; perhaps it won’t, but God and I won’t know unless I try.
No – I am not going to do anything about my instinct that my heart is failing. I realise this is going to upset a lot of people – many of whom I share ties and links of the deepest affection. They always vote Life each time I ask them; just like I’m asking them again to, once more, trust the Spirit I Serve.
The problems we face are going to take – at the very minimum – seven generations to correct; for human beings to relearn how to live gently ‘in the Womb’ of Mother Earth. My one life is supremely unimportant in this grander scheme of Life. What is important is what I do with that life. Etty Hillesum agreed.
And whether or not I am a valuable human being will become clear only from my behaviour in more arduous circumstances. And if I should not survive, how I die will show me who I really am.”
“What I fear most is numbness… And yet there must be someone to live through it all and bear witness to the fact that God lived, even in these times”
“In such extremes, when everything is stripped away, people can only survive if they have discovered meaning.”
If I lose my life – which must be lost one day anyway – then inevitably the parts of you heart you allow me to occupy will break. This hurts. It’s supposed to because this is the Greatest Teaching of Love human beings can experience. It’s a precursor to transformation. I don’t know how it would work in anyone else – I only know that it does. It’s why those who mourn are called Blessed.
When we have a ‘brush’ with Death, we learn the difference between what is truly valuable and that which is mere illusion.
If I die a warrior’s death, your grief will also contain gratitude. Gratitude, such as I feel, for every small kindness and every gesture of greatness shown to me along my path through life – I only got this far because of you. Be grateful for grief because it measures the depths of our capacity to Love and teaches us to beware those still unable to feel it because they have lost their compass to life. Love – which embraces and shelters grief and pain gently – is our guide to the Light. Both Love and Light own the Law of Life where pain informs judgement whilst Truth is revealed by evidence.
In my Law, I have to demonstrate a callous disregard for Life on four separate dimensions: spirit; intellect; instinct; and manifest. The Spirit Aspect is my own – no-one else has to believe any of it; it is enough that I believe. I believe I loosed an ancient instinct amongst the people last month and I am satisfied that it has taken root. The Spirit aspect has been honoured under the Law as far as I know. The Intellectual aspects of the case are summed up in one word – ideology – from which many unexplored consequences have already emerged. The personally-related Instinctive response shows up in the responses to this blog of mine. Which leaves the Manifest dimension.
The evidence is there – no doubt about it – but still nothing is being done to bring this insanity to an end. For as long as I see ‘No Change’, I see no point in living. My personal circumstances go FUBAR in about six weeks time – with a Work Capability Assessment inbetween that will fail me and a system which will deprive me of any income whatsoever whilst they ‘make up their minds about me’ again! It’s not going to be much different from four months ago, except this time I have symptoms.
If I’m right and my heart does fail, and my body dies, I want it known that I named my murderers before I died – every single politician or senior officer – public and private – who issued, followed or profited from orders that drove me, personally, through this psy-ops nightmare into total social exile in my own country, and in so doing deprived me of my Life. I am fully aware I am simply one amongst many but this blog is where I get to share with the world how I feel about it.
The Talmud asks why the human race was created as a single human being, as opposed to creating many people at once (like the animals which were created en masse1 )?
This teaches us that just as Adam was created in the beginning, and he was the entire human population of the world, likewise we need to look at each individual as if he/she were the entire population of the world. Therefore, when you save one life it is as if you saved the entire world.
Talmud, Sanhedrin 37a states:
“FOR THIS REASON WAS MAN CREATED ALONE, TO TEACH THEE THAT WHOSOEVER DESTROYS A SINGLE SOUL… SCRIPTURE IMPUTES [GUILT] TO HIM AS THOUGH HE HAD DESTROYED A COMPLETE WORLD; AND WHOSOEVER PRESERVES A SINGLE SOUL…, SCRIPTURE ASCRIBES [MERIT] TO HIM AS THOUGH HE HAD PRESERVED A COMPLETE WORLD.”
A butterfly may only ‘live for the day’, but if she figures out how to start a tropical storm where it is most needed, she will be ‘Some Butterfly’!!! That sounds like a great kind of Life to live – one with no regrets other than having to say goodbye to those I Love.
Unattributed through ignorance – would be delighted to correct.