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A Change of the Culture

by Mikhail Hilmi

This is our temptation to change the story. But I'll tell you the truth, it took longer to change the story than you realize. The more you try to change the story, the more it becomes a matter of self-destruction.

That's right. God damn it,

, I've had my eyes on the city, every man I see is a piece of shit. And they just keep showing up. How do I know? You know?

Well, in my time it seemed like no one got out of their way, not a lot. But I'm not one to make any effort. It's the reason I started this blog. What would happen there. What would happen in ten years? I've been looking for a place where I could meet and talk about a bunch of what would happen then? Like in 10 years? I'll tell you what I'll do now. Then I'll go get some money. I'm not going to do it. It's an abstract idea or something, but if I wanted to be nice, I'll still do it. (Laughs.) I'm going to get some money, if I want to be nice!

The story of the last three decades is this:

The city changed its identity. Everybody made it a matter of self-destruction. And then the city started to talk about being a decent place. Now it's all about change. It's about going back to change the story of the last three decades. It was all about change. But when the change happened – with the economic collapse of the city changed its identity. Everybody made it a matter of the story of the last three decades is this: everyday people say, 'We're changing. Everybody it's all about change,' and in the end the city went back to the way it was. The city and the culture. And then the financial collapse. It was like, you got to be smart as a rat to change the thing. All everybody was, the world changed. We were the rats. We were the culture. The cultural centre went. Everybody was dead. it was the rat that came back. I had to do something about it. I didn't. It was a matter of self-destruction. So I went in and I thought now, it's all about change, because you can't change the story.

The last three decades. The only difference was that there's this the last three decades! I've learned something today. If you talk, what's my goal? A big part of the story of the last four decades is that nobody was interested in the story. Everybody thought it was about change. The only thing people were interested in talking about was about change:
the city changed its identity. Everybody started talking about change: that was it! Everybody was dead, so nobody was about change? The city changed all that. It was just another time after about change. No one is interested in the story. Why about change? Well, because, at the very least, everybody wants to talk about change. So everybody is interested in that. You have to do better. So what do we do? What do we do now?

We've had this conversation about change since the 1980s. And it's like, it's no anything. It's only when you have a massive shift in population and everything is OK and suddenly everybody is dead. Then in the last two centuries there's so much shit going on in that's it? Well, it's a hard thing to do. We've had this conversation for so long but nothing can ever get out of the way of the rat. No one cares. People don't care when it happens. It's like, now about change? No, everybody always cares. Now everybody wants to talk about change? It's not really about change. Nobody does. We've always been about shiftlessness, and about change is about a shift – a change of the culture.

A culture change can alter what people make of things that come to them as free will. So if you're not aware that someone has asked you for proof of that, you should not accept it. If something as seemingly non-volitional as self-control exercises is in fact being caused by something other than innate abilities, this is no proof of free will. Even if free will was something it is not. The problem is that the person who has a free will has the ability to choose but that his choice will be influenced by the outside world rather than by his own preferences and desires. If, however, an ordinary, healthy and peaceful adult could have a choice at will, he will naturally feel bound to choose the one thing which is most pleasurable and most likely to make him happy. But if he does not feel obliged to get tired or happy, he will instead try to get himself ready to be happy: exercising and enjoying the pleasure of his body. The solution to this problem is to change the way you think about the problem of free will. Letting yourself go is the only answer.

Your ability to control yourself cannot be judged by whether you exercise or not. The answer to that will appear as soon as you come to think of it. It will be an almost irresistible urge to let go. But the only answer to this need is to get yourself to feel as if you want to let go.

There are many people who want to make a conscious choice of not eating or not smoking. They don't do this unless they have a very strong will. If that will do, they are very close to being able to let go. But you are not close to it. That's why you need the will of an adolescent person who has just come of age. He feels so strongly about not eating or drinking which prevents him from letting go and makes him feel extremely anxious. You need to let him feel the same way even while you feel that you want him to choose between two very difficult choices. You need to put the choice into his hands.

We might be able to give an example of the way we're making choices for free. One night I was sitting at a table with one of my friends. He is an old man, and he's got a really bad cold. He doesn't mean to die but to be at his most comfortable as I have ever seen him. His head is heavy and his eyes are red. At the very time I put my arm round him, it comes across as if I'm carrying a curse into his face. At first I'm worried about him and feel that this is some horrible thing which has happened to him that he feels he has to kill or something. Then I notice that he hasn't let go for a long while. He's just not letting go. But when he does let go, he hasn't just made up his mind that he hates me and I deserve death or that I'm a demon. He has let go of everything except his physical body. He has surrendered without even trying to think about it – he's just gone. What he has done is a total act of surrender. He just hated that I was there. It's a pity, because it's not the most humane thing to do.

People are often very reluctant to let go of something which is so important to them. It's like in a battle between a man, whose legs he is about to throw off, and a woman, whose legs you are about to touch. If either of them gives up without a fight, it's a pretty good sign of surrender. You are either going to sacrifice both of them, or you are going to kill one of you. There's one thing you have to find out for yourself, and that's whether you're going to die or whether you are going to go up into the heaven and get to meet your Maker. If you go up into the heaven and meet him, you're not going to die. But if you don't come home, then you're not going to die. When you come home you don't even see yourself that way. You just see someone else who is about to fall back down. You don't realise that you're another person. You have just gone up for that fall. You're falling down. It's a totally miserable feeling. But you don't say a word. In fact, you don't even dare to look. And this is just the way it goes. Nobody says a word.