Ground Zero – The Psuedopod

This is ground zero.
I am a reporter on the scene.
It’s rough going at the moment.
Mainly because I arrived two months early.
Because of that my equipment isn’t what it should be.
I have never been in this sort of air before.
It’s difficult to handle without the proper gear.
Digestion is hard too.
A different type of food.
Difficult on the guts.

Those are just a couple of the problems
Arising from being born eight weeks too early.
Anyway, being born is a shit thing to happen to one so young.

Without the fully commissioned environmental tools,
I feel as vulnerable as hell.
I’m scared.
So I’m looking around trying to grasp what is going on.
Okay, here I am at ground zero,
And suddenly — clunk – I am already being locked into
a metal frame of limitation and misery.
Everything starts clicking into place.
Maybe that’s what Christianity means by original sin?

I don’t know about that.
But I do know very clearly
What it is to be born into a situation,
And for it to click into place.
Having a body that is already ailing or,
Not functioning as well as it might.
Here we go, incarnating into this situation,
Click, click, click.
The door bangs closed, and our life begins!

Well, we can say,
“I was wounded when I was born –
When I was one, or two, or three, or six, or eight –
But some of our wounds occurred
Longer ago than that.
Much further back.
We are actually born into a situation.
Even at birth some of those wounds are already formed.

Imagine it. Here we are.
We opened our eyes as the baby,
And our being is filled with a question,
“What is this?!”
Well, this is life.

Yes, this is ground zero,
And as far as you can tell
No guns have been fired yet,
The bomb hasn’t exploded,
But you are already wounded!
Sometimes it’s a gaping wound.

So –
What are you going to do?
That’s what matters — what are you going to do?
Well, I am a reporter on the scene.
I haven’t long been born,
And I am trying to understand
What the hell is going on around me.

Hold on though,
I think I am just beginning to
Get the hang of some of the
Sound signals that I hear.
I think that’s what they are,
What is taking place.

Apparently these signals are meaningful.
Umm — yes?
I am beginning to get it –
They are some sort of communication.
Aha — I always thought
Communication was happening through
The feelings and the body.
You know, am I held? Am I acceptable? Do I smell?
Am I being pushed away?
But apparently not.
These sounds mean something.
From what I am just beginning to understand,
These communications can be something like,
‘I love you, but I am pushing you away’.
But the, ‘I am pushing you away’ is a subtext. 

I am trying to understand all this,
but it is difficult.
But umm — wow! Jesus wept!
All hell has broken loose. I am three now,
It is 1940, and as I look around I see that
Apparently everybody is trying to kill each other.
This is a hell of a thing,
Because I’m like one big question mark.
Everything I am is wondering what to do.
I’m looking around to see what resources I’ve got.
Umm – not much –
Fuck me, I think I’ll hide.

Okay, to bring you up-to-date,
I’ve gone into hiding,
But that doesn’t seem to be working too well.
I’m still in the middle of all this stuff –
This war shit — and I’m being victimised.
This is happening, even though I’m trying to say to everybody,
‘Look, I’m not really here!
Okay? Just get away, I’m not really here!
So, stop all the shit.
Just get on with your fucking lives,
And leave me alone.

What do you have to do to get the message over?
That’s an idea. Maybe I can try dying.

I tried, but it doesn’t seem to be working.
I want to die.
I want it as bad as I can,
But I still seem to be breathing.
When they see me breathing
They think I’m still alive.
I guess the only way is to top myself.
But I don’t really want to go that far.

Shit! So what else is open to me?
Wow! I never thought of that.
I can create an imaginary world!
Umm — okay. Okay!
Well, stuff it.
What with all the shit
Going on out there,
They can stuff their world.
I’ve got a place here
That is fucking wonderful,
Right inside me..
I love it.
Well — God loves me.

This is bloody good.
I can carry on growing here!

Hold on. What is that I can hear?
It sounds like guns going off!
Well, maybe it is,
But that is ‘out there’
And it’s okay in this place I’ve created.
So I don’t need to think about that too much.

So, right!
I’m in a place where I can take stock now.
My mother is working all the time.
I don’t see much of her.
I’ve got time now to wonder
What happened to me?
How did I get here?
What is this place?
Well, at least I have time to recoup.
But how the hell did I get here?

So anyway, here I am,
The vulnerable, sensitive baby.
And there, in the ‘world’ – WAR.
My mother is at work.
I am alone a lot of the time.
What can I do to deal
With all this –
All my feelings?

Well, I am hiding in myself.
But people keep expecting me to
Respond in some way.
All I want is to be
“In there” back in the egg,
In the womb,
Anywhere away from the struggle to survive.
And all hell was breaking loose in the world – war.
So what should a small,
Vulnerable and helpless child do?

Well, I learned a really neat trick.
Remember, I am still a tiny life form
Curled up back in the egg
Waiting to be born.
At least, that’s where I am in my feelings.
I need a bit longer before I can emerge.
I need a bit more love and care
Wrapped in somebody’s arms.
Just a bit longer.
I need a bit longer
Before I can dare to come out.
And where are you going to find that
In a world torn apart by war?
Competition and violence
Seem to be the name of the game.
Well, the really neat trick is that
I discovered how to
Put out a malleable psuedopod!!

Remember –
It had to appear that I was
‘Out there’ doing something in the world.
So I put out my psuedopod
That could take any shape I liked.
I made it appear to be
The growing figure of a young male,
And later a man.

I learned certain skills of speech,
Of behaviour,
Of apparently responding
Intelligently to other people.
But it was all just an act.
It wasn’t me.
I am still curled up in the
Corner somewhere trying to survive,
Trying to keep people off me,
To remain invisible.
I am still waiting to be born.

So in doing this trick,
Putting out a psuedopod,
I became this great ventriloquist.
But somehow I became confused
And got mix-up in the roles.
I began to think the
Psuedopod was really me.

It’s a common mistake.
Most other people around me
Are actually psuedopods,
Ventriloquist’s dummies, a zombie.

Crazy as it may seem,
We start to think the
Artificial self we have created
To cope with the world is actually us.
What a terrible tragedy that is.
We start to feel lost and uncertain –
You know –
Oh my God, who am I?
What is my life worth?
Why do I feel so rootless and depressed?

Well, that is me.
Not with any real life
Or connections with other people.

So here we are living as,
And identifying with, the psuedopod,
And all sorts of difficult questions arise
That have no way of being answered.
We ask ourselves what is my intrinsic value?
Why do I lack any real sense of purpose?
How is it I don’t really know why I’m here?

These uncertainties lead to attempting
Some sort of measurement
In order to find out who we are.
You know –
What is my rate of sexual success?
How much money have I got in the bank?
But all the time
You are dealing with a false person.

Of course,
Eventually it is all going to fall apart.
But we try to maintain the validity
Of that false self
With all sorts of methods,
Everything from alcohol,
Hard drugs – to calming meditation.

Our medical fraternity is
Overwhelmed by people
Whose lives are falling apart –
Perhaps even their bodies.
In fact they are being asked
To patch up something that really
Does need to come apart at the seams.
What we actually need is some sort of
Wise support as we gradually
Dismantle this psuedopod,
This false self.

Laing had the right idea.
He suggested that we need to help people,
To give them an environment
In which they could fall apart.

Meanwhile, behind the facade,
Here am I – the ventriloquist,
The fragile sensitive baby
Who is actually connected
With the rest of the world,
Looking around,
Absolutely moved
By what I see in the world.
Astounded, by all these people
Who are making out they know who they are.

Strangely, these psuedopods
Get into offices of power.
They direct human affairs.
Some of them are apparently
In charge of the whole nation,
And they don’t even know who they are.

But obviously, they are doing a great job,
Because they have been given all the cues.
They have been reared in that way,
Programmed to be a sort of automaton,
And not to get upset
By not knowing the hell who they are.
They manage to live without real perception.
They live without being able to see,
As the baby does,
Its part in all creation,
Connected with all of human past.

One of the easiest ways
To find out who is a psuedopod
And who is a real person
Involves a simple memory test.
Ask the person if they
Can remember their childhood.
If they say, “Oh yes, I remember
My aunt Nellie telling me how I
Used to wet the bed.
I remember that.”
Well that is not real memory.
It is more like having photographs
That you are acquainted with.

Ask them if they remember being a baby.
Ask if they remember being in the womb.
Ask them if they remember their life in eternity.
The real self remembers all this.
After all it emerged from eternity,
Lived in the womb,
And experienced all those years until the present.

If you are suffering amnesia,
You are probably a psuedopod.

As for me, I was desperate to find my way back.
I saw the signs of my maladjustment
Everywhere I looked.
It was difficult to accept those signs.
They were like being stabbed
With a hot knife.
They were in places
You don’t want to be dug.
They hurt too much – old wounds.
That is my story.

This is ground zero.
I am a reporter on the scene.
It’s rough going at the moment.
Maybe we are both pseudopods,
But I hold out my hand to you.

Copyright ©2003 Tony Crisp

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved