Writing is a such an interesting process. Making connections and using logic to make the connections seem natural or even remote. As a side note I watched an interview with Immortal Technique the outspoken rapper and I was left dumb struck. I have been a fan of his music though I listen to his work rarely. I prefer Public Enemy normally when I listen to Hip Hop and normally I listen to ambient music. Immortal Technique is very engaging musically and his interviews are engaging as well. He has studied a lot of revolutionary history and has a strong command for modern history. He reminded me of someone I once studied martial arts with who was from Chile. He was an academic and a very accomplished martial artist. He knew all about the Americas and the complex histories and political struggles.
Our martial arts lessons were full of political commentary and my Chilean peer seemed to thrive and he still as far as I know would still be in the same group of martial artists. It was a very tight group. For me though I struggled. I found it mentally stressful and all of the commentary seemed to be too much to deal with after years of this. Eventually I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and my life completely changed. The funny thing was that all of the commentary was for me just what I already knew. Somewhere inside me I knew it all and it all made sense. It made perfect sense. I could literally live it and feel it. It was like the instructor was repeating himself.
It is as though the darkness that has set forth through history was always there. We knew basically that it was all a crime. It was mass murders, slavery and dehumanisation. We knew essentially that we didn’t have everybodies interests at heart. This made us all uneasy. Our crimes were obvious and our attitudes even more so. We were simply at the top of a great incline we had climbed with bodies lying in our wake. To get here we had to take what wasn’t ours. Every finger was pointing. Every crime carried through history. Now I felt like I was at the peak but suddenly on a ledge. “Jump…jump he said” but it wasn’t a jump but a slip. I slipped and fell. Falling down, down, tumbling.
It was just the truth of the situation. We are fed truth and lies. We know the truth the whole time though. Then we get the lies and try to tell ourselves it was just a bad dream. I didn’t do it and so forth. Struggle has always been upon us. There are always those though who will take advantage of others. I am definitely not revolutionary material. I found the commentaries at the martial arts classes simply a take on what I had learnt through my own observations. I had heard Public Enemy and Ghandi and Martin Luther King and bits of radical thought that had penetrated into the mass mindset. That was the question though, what could you do? You could accept the struggle and the history. You could accept the crimes in so far as you wouldn’t repeat them.
I find it hard to see people talk about common white people or that sort of stuff because I was taught colour didn’t matter. At the same time though colour could still be said to make your life easier. That to me only flies so far. I have friends who are of colour who do better than me because they went into a field and excelled at it. It was never about their colour. It made no difference. Though truthfully if you are Indigenous you will have road blocks. They are cultural and totally unfair. In saying that though there are high achievers and agitators using their heritage to right wrongs.
Immortal Technique was saying that most of us are conscious of a lot of the struggles. Though we may not engage directly. We know they are there and even ignore them. That to me is why people can feel somewhat anxious and don’t know why. They understand though that there is something wrong. If it is in us then how do we confront it when we can’t even see what is bothering us? In a way our inner struggles are as much in us as outside of us. My struggle was both internalised and externalised. I admit when I was diagnosed I had a lot on my plate already. I was actually thriving at martial arts for years then it seemed I had disrespected the ancestral knowledge. When I went to the deeper parts of the art I simply didn’t have the respect and the fortitude.
That has always been my issue. Respect. When I fell from that height I had displayed lack of fortitude for my position. I had simply tried to take advantage of it. That was the fall. That was the slip. In a way I haven’t changed but I have a newfound respect for the ancestral knowledge that passes through humanity. I have managed to claw my way out of a deep hole. It isn’t just from my own efforts but from the efforts of countless others I knew nothing of. For example the neuroscientists who came up with the medications that help me think. I am in a way part of a process of capital but also of scientific excellence and research. We can get creative and talk about rats running through mazes and being experimented on.
What I have realised is we are all propped up on other people’s achievements and failures. All of our unease has always been there because human nature has many faces.