The Revolution Begins in Bed


Fifth Estate # 362, Fall, 2003

For me, daydreaming is a kind of prayer. To drift, to feel my body gently floating, to move with memory and the suggestiveness of phenomena, to be thankful, to enjoy, to praise this life with its wonder and vitality…this is prayerfulness. And sometimes I wonder, there must be nothing better than to be a Master of Ceremonies, making pilgrimages out for the pine boughs to bring back to the village to reanimate the village goddess, and bring people closer together. This world of beauty and dreams -and making peace with life.

And then there’s that world. That other world. That world represented by the cars rushing by outside. The world of businesses, of bondage to schedules, of having no time for daydreams because one has to rush around after this, that, and the other.

Live paycheck to paycheck. Hectic. Pressured. For food? For house? For partnership? For family? Why? Why? To keep the wheels going? How about stopping? Stopping dead in one’s tracks. Stopping as a stance of life. No, I’m not going anywhere. No, I’m not doing anything. No, I refuse to participate. And then doing the bare minimum to maintain oneself. A garden. Fruit trees. Minimal work to buy a year’s supply of grain, beans, seeds to cook and sprout. Living in a reed hut, or a mud cottage, or in a spruced up shack.

If we all grew gardens, we could make our lives grand with festivals. Festivals, and music, and ceremonies designed to draw us out into symbolic encounter with the forces of the universe. But Coca-Cola and Unocal and McDonalds and Maxaam and IBM and Monsanto and Microsoft and Boeing and rat race, rat race, rat race, fuck all these people, I hate that world, I hate that world, I hate that world. That world that makes me go crazy. Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo. Bonkers. Out of my mind. Losing my senses. Therapy? Stop that world.

Let’s spend more time dreaming. The more time people spend daydreaming, the less time they will spend producing and using petrochemicals, herbicides, gasoline, office supplies, forest products. It can be so easy so just lounge around. But it’s obviously very difficult for people. Because of a superego calling out “lazy, lazy”. And that voice is the voice of the emperors, the slavemasters, the corporate bosses, the priests that want to control you, and the resentful masses who’ve given up their soul and want you to do so too. Screw that voice. You can find your natural creativity that has nothing to do with official productivity and its demand schedules. You can discover a desire to give and to share that never ends. You can discover a new type of life.

That world, that world out there, they don’t care about your dreams. They tell you so. They don’t care about the you who you are when you are drifting or daydreaming. They don’t want to collect you, to gather you, to bring you together as a whole, all of you, your dreams and shadows and shinings. They want to eat you. They want to take a bite out of you, in return for cold, metallic compensation that you use to fund your addictions, addictions that keep you going in circles in the endless rat race.

There’s a sacred voice that visits everyone of us, almost everyday. It says, stay in bed. Yet we dishonor that voice. Our compulsive obsession with productivity, our incessant slavery to the driving demons makes us get up, rejoin the grind, participate in a mad labor camp that is laying waste to life everywhere on this planet.

So I say to you, stay in bed! To lie down and refuse the demon is perhaps the best therapy. Whole families can try this. Whole neighborhoods. We could have a general strike. Refuse to give our bodies to the machine. Boycott official society, and return to the organic, the dreamlike, the real.

It begins in bed. The revolution begins in bed. Power has to start there. Power begins in bed. Then it radiates, out to the household, with the extended family and garden. Then it radiates out from there, to the neighborhood village and the village council. Then it radiates out from there, to the neighborhood delegates at the city council. Then to the county. Then to the bioregion. Then to the nation, and even the world. But by the time it reaches the higher levels, there’s almost nothing for those councils to do, because everything that is important is being done at the central levels, beginning with bed. When the neighborhood becomes the central locus of real, effective power, and the bioregions their linkages, we know we have returned to the source.

You want things to get better? Return to the source. Stop “progressing.” Return to the source. Get back in bed. The bed is the place of conception. It’s the place where concepts are dreamed, where dreams are conceived, where babies are conceived. It’s a sacred zone. The voice that says “stay in bed” is the voice calling you to return to the source. When public life becomes the sharing of the self that lies in bed dreaming, then finally it becomes real. But until then, it is fake, a dead, de-sacralized mask that is more a shield than a mask, a defense rather than a revelation.

When every day becomes a holiday, a holy day, a day to gather our (w)holeness, then we’re returned to the deliciousness. Yes. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s, Easter, Mayday, Summer Solstice, Lughnasagh: these should be the organizational principles of our activity, the clocks we set our schedules by, the locus around which initiations are set and rituals played out, the purpose of all production.

Why bother living for Coca-Cola-America, Inc.? It would be better to become a leech. Don’t give parasites such a bad name. They can be symbiotic. But not us. We won’t be symbiotic. Let’s steal and cheat and live as much off the bastards as possible, until their fictional body is bled off and dies a bloated bastard. We owe these fictional bodies no allegiance, no loyalty, no respect. These are not the Corn Maidens we feed. These are not the Sacred Village Hearts. These are monsters, machines we need to stop feeding. They are leeching off of us, and then we call that “the real world”?! No, it’s a nightmare! Don’t contrast reality and dreaming! It’s all dreaming, and this is the worst fucking dream ever imagined! This is a bad dream! Wake up and dream a new dream! Wake up and dream a new dream! The revolution begins in bed!

This selection is an excerpt from John Landau’s new book Live Your Madness: how to become sane by going crazy and affirming your weirdness. See page 44 for information about ordering your own copy from FE Books!