Let’s celebrate our difference by plugging into the joy matrix. Let’s share pleasurable activities and open our hearts in shared bliss.
Yet, how can we have bliss when so much evil and pain and suffering is happening in the world? Doesn’t it feel false and tawdry to work with bliss states, to in effect be in denial, the kind of denial that only those living in a privileged society can have? The Polly Anna skip through the daisies whilst turning a blind entitled eye to all that is happening denial?
Maybe that is where the London underground diy rave scene in its many forms had it nailed – communal ecstatic bliss states through sharing music and dancing and MDMA. Yet my observations from the London acid techno scene over the years concludes that it was a bliss that has/had to be earned through the collective effort of putting the body through the extremes of human endurance – crusty warehouses with no toilets for many of the “free” parties, body fluids staining clothes(excessive sweat, urine, dribble) incessant pounding loud electronic beats smashing the mantles of constructed identities – for 12 hours, for 24 hours sometimes for 3 days or more, the loss of body control and linear time. Concrete and corporeal spaces transformed through disruptive and unarguable countercultural acts of subversion writ large on towers of speaker stacks.
The rave scene was born of its time – Thatcher’s Britain – and whilst ostensibly a form of rage and protest against injustice on psychic levels it smashed through the veils of sleepwalkers and slumberers switching people on to a way of being and a consciousness that celebrated pleasure as an organising principle – a consciousness still alive and kicking that runs both counter to capitalist post industrial patriarchy and that has on the main managed to dodge gleaming white toothed new age individualism.
My time on that scene informs my work for many reasons. Yet I return to my initial question “how can we have bliss when so much evil and pain and suffering is happening in the world?” And the answer comes clearly: Seeking bliss is an evolutionary imperative. Being able to see and hold the pain around us, locally and globally, the suffering of the planet and still feel bliss is a powerful and transformative act of LOve and agency and a great place to make positive action and change.
YES it is even more important now to share bliss and to celebrate our differences by plugging into the joy matrix. And even though it still serves a purpose, and has a beauty politic and power of it’s own, not all of us may need to smash our identities and hearts wide open through the pounding electronic beats of underground raves on an everyday basis (though I recommend trying it once if you never have) Maybe it is time for acts of subversion to be widespread and multiple by remembering the small everyday acts of shared Eros – or creative energy generated by Love – through music, art, dance, meditation.
YES PLEASURE IS POWERFUL MEDICINE.