We hiked up to the Sandwich Baron and bought a breakfast of cheese and bacon on French rolls, then walked back down to where we had left the car.
The wait was over four hours long – but damn, those people did the job properly!
While waiting I parked myself on a stone storm drain cover under a tree whose species I have yet to pin down – despite it being a pretty common planting in the new North of Joburg – and read chapters out of Tara Sanchez’ The Temple of Hekate off my phone. When my eyes tired, I gazed at the people in the streets below me; coming and going and lounging around, people on foot and people behind the wheels of tons of fast-moving metal; people going to work and people hoping to find work. Human people being, in short, human people on a warm and windy Monday morning in Joburg.
I visually followed a couple of clean, neat guys who may – I thought at first – have been looking for work in this area of light industrial businesses. One was dressed in freshly laundered blue overalls, the other looked more like a pirate in his jailing jeans and bandanna. They stopped to hail a passing stranger, which was what drew my attention to them – but what kept my attention on them was my growing suspicion that they were fairly slick criminals casing various joints. I’m not sure even now why I thought this. But they must have felt my gimlet gaze upon them at some stage, for they turned around several times and looked around for the source of their discomfort.
Next I decided to play with the owner of a humongous Hummer vehicle parked in the Absa Bank lot. I waited, wondering what someone who would drive such a gas-guzzling, earth-destroying monster would look like. When he walked out of the bank and flashed his remote unlock, I saw a young-ish man in long shorts and baggy T shirt, his fish white arms and legs proclaiming him to be some kind of software programmer – just like me. I hated him on sight, of course. What did he need that much metal to be driving around in? Where was his consciousness that he apparently needed so many tons of metal alloy and large amounts of petroleum to take him to his local bank? What a tosser.
At more or less that moment, another customer of the brake centre ambled over to what I was rapidly considering to be my tree and sat down upon the stone drain cover. Much too close, I felt – but then I tend to wield a personal space about the size of a European country. I sidled away down the embankment, and then got very irritated when I had to climb past him to get to Warren when the car was ready.
I remember this flood of indignation, irritation and self righteousness. I remember thinking very clearly that all these monkeys were nothing like me. That I was so much better than them that I was practically another species, and that the reason I disliked them so much was that they were demonstrably not like me.
Uh-oh. Wetiko Disease attack.
When we start drawing out the perceived evil in everyone around us – everyone but ourselves, of course – then we are surely caught fast in the Wetiko Disease.
Those hateful ways of those people I’d just been other-ing were my own shadow, evoked and visible and appalling. It took a couple of hours before I could admit that truth to myself.
A couple of hours and a listen to Paul Levy on Red Ice Radio , talking about his new work, Dispelling Wetiko.
Well, well, well. And are we finally ready to admit that we have a disease of insanity?
Yourself especially, Terri , as you are no different from any of those other humans out there.
This is very important for us all to remember. We are the only people to be actively crafting our suicide, and taking the rest of the living world with us. When Wetiko Disease has us pinned, we certainly do not see it, do not acknowledge it. And this is the pernicious nature of this sickness – we’ll be feeling that Everything Is OK as we slide down into extinction, despite what the trees and the birds and our own domestic animal companions have been trying to tell us for the last 6000 years.
Please. Can we not awaken in the dream?