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Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Trouser Legs of History

Fulfilling a 'miscellaneous' ambition has made me think about other miscellaneous ambitions I could fulfil. The thing is, they're not the kind of thing that you would necessarily look at doing. Learning to play the piano is another I've been thinking of doing for years. The guitar as well... And unless you actually get off your arse and do something about it, you never will.

You have to actually make it happen, rather than expecting it to just happen. You'll never hear someone saying that they did the London Marathon by mistake or just fell into it. "Yes, I was walking round London, and all these people were running. I didn't know what they were running from, but thought cripes, I'd better not hang around, so I ran away as well and then before I knew it, they wrapped me in tinfoil and gave me a medal.' Although I think that the 'London Stampede' could be quite fun. Put some wild animals in with the runners. And say you'll shoot the last 1000 people to finish. I bet you'd smash the Marathon records. Nothing like the threat of instant death to make you raise your game.

But I digress. So I think I'm going to start having a think of all the things I've always wanted to do, those drunken 3 o'clock 'wouldn't it be ace to do...' dreams that are so quickly forgotten the next day.

So I think I may look at buying a guitar and perhaps even a piano. And I'm going to start putting some thought into the novel I've been meaning to put together all these years. I have two ideas. I even have a title for the first one - The Trouser Legs of History, which is the name I've given to a philosophy I believe in. In a nutshell, every time in life you make a decision, you create a new pair of 'history trousers'. And one you goes down the right trouser leg, the other you (the one that made a different decision) goes down the left trouser leg.

The idea for my book is that when you die, you don't go to heaven with all your family and friends... You go to a place that is full of all the alternate you's. And you get to talk to them all about what happened when they made the other decision - when they stayed with the girl you left. Or asked out the girl you were to scared to ask... And how it changed their life, and what happened afterwards. There would be those that had the fullest of lives, those that had the worst, and all the different ones in between...

And perhaps when you've spoken to the last of the alternate you's, you then get sent back down again to do it all again, to see what you've learnt. Perhaps that's my take on the pursuit of Nirvana. You have a pop at life, and then you look at the different ways it could have changed, the things you got wrong, the things you got right.

And when you finally achieve Enlightenment, you'll die, go to the same place, and you will be the only you there... And then you can enter whatever heaven may be, maybe then you become an angel, in the philosophical sense of the word rather than the religious, and you are then charged with helping those that are still finding their way through the trouser legs to achieve their own Enlightenment.

Or you enter a large banquet hall, eat yourself silly, get pissed on mead and shag loads of large-breasted valkyries for all eternity, as the Vikings believed.

Either would be fine.

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