The Square World Vs the True World
September 4, 2022
I had a really lovely dream the other night. I dreamt that my good friend Louise and I were making our way through a misty forest, suddenly we come to a beach by a lake. There we found a family of tiny 4 inch Faery people dancing and playing on the shore. When they saw us approaching they started waving us over to join them. We all then sat on the beach and let the gentle waves tickle our feet. We laughed and joked. As we were looking out onto the calm surface of the lake we could see our happy futures in the still waters and we smiled. Then I woke up.
For some years now, but especially since we attended the Noisily and Whirly festivals, I have been in complete turmoil mentally. I have seen what life could be, a beautiful hippie life with likeminded people. People who live gentle creative lives, the sort of communities you find at festivals like those I have just mentioned.
There are better ways of living our lives than this horrible existence we are almost forced to endure in counties like mine (UK).
Corrupt materialist societies that veer towards a right wing philosophy. Governments who want to control us and brain wash us into submission. Societies that embrace war, control and who put money and profit before the happiness of their collective peoples.
Life in the UK now is almost unbearable if you live in the square world; a world of control, a grey and conforming society of gullible sheep.
Its simple, I do not want to be part of this Square world, this fascist controlling society. I think back and feel with a warm heart, the love and kinship, community and brotherhood of those people I met at Whirl-y-fayre and Noisily festival; if only the world could be like that, full of good, positive, loving spirited free souls. I’m ready to get out and that is causing me so much anguish, as its not as easy as that. Sometimes you need to conform to the Square world, with things like a ‘normal’ job, in order to finance your escape into the True World; its a catch 22 situation.
I hope by explaining my own current internal battle, you may also find you share such feelings of frustration and uncertainty.
I am currently reading two wonderful books, one is called Ten Years on the Hippie Trail: Kansas to Kathmandu by Ananda Brady, and the other is a book called Love by Andrew Sanger.
In this second book the main story teller reflects on his need to move away from the Square World and embrace the True World:
Asthma of normality
“From the small world of an English childhood I stepped into the greatest adventure of our age, Soon, said tight-lipped voices in my head, we would be disciplined: we would tread again the narrow way, between the high fences of what is possible and impossible, and take our place in the eternal relay of lifetimes, each passing the baton to the next, normal-living and normal-dying, living, dying endlessly forward into nothing, just one among the uncountable dust of humanity, indistinguishable, infinite in number, in time, infinitely repeating in unison, unambitious voices, radio and newspapers and television marching in time. Infinite souls born and spirits broken, neat haircuts, checking creases, brushing dandruff, clinking glasses, waving flags, supporting teams, taking loans, repaying loans, and buried under a normal, polite epitaph. Polite smiles and forms of words and the asthma of normality, the world built on conventions as strong as concrete and steel, fixed masks, shackles of culture. Routine and habit, prejudice and ignorance, the sins of the fathers and mothers learned and relearned unto the thousandth generation.
Now the concrete is cracking, the metal twisting. We are breaking our shackles, breaking out like weeds through the pavement.
Bedroom door closed, a teenage schoolboy in England lies naked under the blankets listening to Radio Luxembourg. Bob Dylan sings like an air raid siren and says the times are a-changing. Terse, drumbeat verses hammer out a warning. Come gather round people. Come writers and critics. Come senators, congressmen. Come mothers and fathers. The line it is drawn.
Kids at school look at each other and discover they are not the only one. And indeed, that it has happened to kids all over the world.
Something in the human heart wants a big change. Its started happening and we are the first to know. Everything must be torn down from the windows like worn fabrics heavy with dust. Let the light and air pour in, the limitless light!”
Love by Andrew Sanger.
“Raj Gopal was not a sadhu, but he had his philosophy well in hand, and even summed up a lot of what we were talking about way back in the sixties, love and peace, no possessions, no attachments, find ways of living that bring fulfilment – the hippie India connection. And it is towards that end of a profound peace that sadhus spend their entire lives wandering for.”
Ten Years on the Hippie Trail: Kansas to Kathmandu by Ananda Brady
I’m not saying I want to go off and become a sadhu in India, or a Buddhist monk in Thailand, but I do seek peace and a life where I do not need to conform to the Square world.
I am certainly trapped into doing that now. Lets start with my flat. While the politicians play ‘who becomes the leader’, who is the biggest arsehole to control us and get us all indebted to them for ‘bailing’ us out of a cost of living crises; I find myself trapped in a flat I can no longer afford and its only going to get more expensive to live there. I have no deep love of my flat, it is four walls to keep me warm and dry. I would be just as happy living on a canal boat, or living in a community house or even living in a tent if only we did not have such shitty weather in the UK. But my attempts to move to a cheaper property are continuously thwarted because the person I am supposed to swap with is worried about the cost of living crises. They keep us in this fear and so keep us conforming to the system.
So, what do I do? I work more and more hours at a Square world regular job I don’t want in order to save enough money to find a way to escape the very world I am being forced to live in.
I sit outside my job at Costco every morning wishing I was anywhere but there. I want to set up a festival business with some other likeminded hippie types but we need to keep working at our Square World jobs in order to pay for that; aaaahhhh! Its a constant trap in a world where a small minority control the few. How do we find full freedom, how do I find full freedom? How can I move over to the true world, do I move to India and live in a beach hut living off my book sales? Well, yeah, that is a possibility until the Indian government decide I’ve outstayed my visa and must leave, and there I am being controlled by the Square World once again. I’m sure many of you have felt this tug of war of emotions too.
How can we find the real True World?
The article below answers many of these questions:
Hippy Philosophy and the Hippy Dream
We are stardust, we are golden, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.
Joni Mitchell/CS&N (Woodstock)
“So what do hippies want anyway? What is their utopian fantasy? It’s
easy to criticize the existing system, but just what do hippies have to
replace it? Many accuse the hippies of being dreamers (one of the more
benign accusations!). But I like to think that hippies are bringing a message
to humanity. An urgent message. We need to change. Now!
We all want to change the world.
The Beatles (Revolution)
How? How about rethinking our whole relationship to the planet. Once
upon a time people thought about the future in terms of decades and generations.
They were concerned about the legacy they would leave their children and
grandchildren. Today that seems so far from our thoughts. Our primary concern
is; What can I get now?
It seems as though there’s some kind of land grab going on, except
it’s not just land that people are grabbing, it’s resources and power.
It’s like a party where no one got enough to eat, and the last few morsels
are left, and everyone’s eyeing them covetously, ready to fight for that
It’s a problem of too many people, diminishing resources, human greed,
rampant consumerism, and massive development of the few remaining untouched
places like the rainforests. Our utopian fantasy doesn’t necessarily require
something to be done, but rather so many things for us to refrain from
doing. That’s the first step. Let’s preserve what we have before greedy
individuals and corporations gobble it up.
I’m just beginning to see…
The trees are drawing me near, I’ve got to find out why.
The Moody Blues (Tuesday Afternoon)
Then on an individual basis, hippies maintain that we must get back
in touch with that part of ourselves that we lost. That innocence about
the world, that hope for a future full of wonders. We want to reclaim our
right to a healthy life and a healthy planet. We are all infected to some
degree with a disease that requires us to consume way more than we need
to survive. If all this greed had some noble purpose, perhaps it could
be justified, but unfortunately it has become an end unto itself.
Like a true Nature’s child, we were born, born to be wild
Steppenwolf (Born to be Wild)
Many hippies consider themselves pagan. Paganism is the belief that
nature in itself has the answers to life’s most important questions. Paganism
is a way of showing respect for the natural paradise we have on earth.
It puts us in touch with that animal essence which we all repress, but
is the key to our health and survival. The idea that Mother Nature knows
best is the basis for the Ecology movement. To second-guess nature, to
manipulate her for personal gain is likely to have unexpected consequences
which will backfire in the long term.
That organism, that creature of which we are each a part,
is the biosphere, the living surface of this planet Earth.
That stirring we all feel, that move towards group-consciousness,
is the biosphere of Earth becoming aware of its existence.
It is being born.
We are waking up.
Paul Williams (Das Energi)
Gaian philosophy is an outgrowth of paganism. Paganism sees everything
living as imbued with spirit. Gaianism goes one step further and sees the
entire planet as one evolving entity, of which we are an integral part.
Thus to clear cut rainforests, to pollute the seas, the land and the air
is not just showing disrespect, it’s raping our loving host that provides
us with everything we need. In our endless greed we take and take, throwing
the system out of balance. Many believe that Gaia will attempt compensate
and restore the balance, probably by unleashing some plague upon mankind
to reduce our numbers, if she doesn’t kill us off completely.
Our responsibility as individual cells of a living organism,
is to perform our individual functions as well as possible.
Our orders come from within…we are free to be ourselves…
Our lives will grow richer and richer as the health of the
total organism improves.
Our destiny is unimaginably high.
Paul Williams (Das Energi)
Man’s shortsightedness is blinding him to the true nature of the world.
Our interconnectedness and dependence upon the ecological balance of the
planet as a whole has been lost ever since science and religion split long
ago. Hippies seek to regain this awareness so we can act in accordance
with the needs of the greater system, rather than be a severe burden upon
it. It’s our Dharma.
Without stirring abroad,
One can know the whole world;
Without looking out of the window
One can see the way of heaven.
The further one goes
The less one knows.
This awareness, once attained, requires us to reassess our role as human
beings on the planet Earth. The questions; Why are we here? and What
is the meaning of life? are the most important questions we can ask ourselves.
As I said before, Paganism provides those answers. We are here to serve
the planet in the highest capacity we are capable of realizing. Truly,
our needs are few. Those needs manufactured by our society are just tools
used to keep us slaving for our rich masters while they destroy our common
One thing I can tell you is you’ve got to be FREE!
John Lennon (Come Together)
Freedom is shedding those false needs and finding one’s true place in
the greater scheme. Understanding the interdependence of life is seeing
beyond the material illusion (Maya) and witnessing the dance of energy
that is the true nature of the universe. This is called enlightenment.
Hippies seek enlightenment in various ways. Drugs provide but a fleeting
glimpse of the true nature of reality. We know that before you can change
the world, you must change yourself and find peace within. Yoga and meditation
bring us this inner peace and help us to act in balance with our surroundings.
Eastern mysticism from Ashtanga Yoga to Zen Buddhism provide us with various
paths to enlightenment.
Hippies are the most open-minded folks when it comes to religion. We
study most of the world’s religions and take what makes sense and enhances
personal freedom and reject the dogma. So our philosophy is a melange of
the teachings of Christ, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Krishna, Gandhi, even some latter-day
saints like Lennon, Leary and Morrison. Some hippies choose a particular
religion or guru to follow, while others blaze their own path, following
the Tao wherever it takes them like a true Dharma bum.
If you meet Buddha on the road, kill him.
Book title by Sheldon Kopp
Of course we know that a perfect planet is unrealistic. People come
to this planet to work out their Karma. Human beings must live and learn
by their mistakes. But we need to see examples of how to live in peace
and harmony before we can change ourselves. Christ and Buddha were two
such examples, and look at how many lives they influenced. Imagine what
a whole nation of Bodhisattvas could do! This is our dream. To live in
harmony with each other and our planet. How close we come to achieving
it depends upon each person’s willingness to change themselves. May we
all see the light.”
Posted by: skip
For me personally, I am very aware of my current inner turmoil and how its effecting my everyday life. I am currently setting up a festivals business that will open next year, which means I will finally be free from working for the man.
If our festival business is a success, it means I can spend six months of the year in India (a wonderful thought) and six months of the year in the UK running that business, so that will solve the India visa issue too. I will also have the money from my book sales, so money will cease being an issue (yes, we all need some money to live).
But for six months of the year I will still be living within a society of capitalism, materialism, far right politics, control, and racism and unless we have a radical change in the UK; that’s not changing any day soon.
Spending more time at festivals puts me within a community I want to be around, but sadly the likes of Pritti Patel or some other self serving politician will always be there in the background knocking on my door, telling me who the real bosses are. How do you find total peace, total freedom?; maybe that is impossible, but we can try the best we can to fight the system and strive to make the Square world more like the True World that we are striving for.
Until then the tug of war between The Square World and The True world goes on for many of us.
I hope I have gotten across the message I am trying to give, the question I am trying to ask, to you and to me: is the True world real, is it possible? and if it is, tell me where I can find it, as I’m raring to go!