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Vintage Outlandish!

This Content From 2003 (or earlier) see index

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Art... Text!

Truth is Love
Text by Josh Koenig

Originally Staged 12/13/2001 at Axiom's Holiday Party (produced by Axiom Creative Collective) with Josh Koenig as the NEO HIPPY and Emily Wilbur providing guitar accompanyment. This is a continuation of the voice I found earlier in pirate utopia.

ON STAGE: A NEO HIPPY dressed in raggy clothes with a straw cowboy hat and a mason jar of water sits in a handmade chair. He should have a little desk (also funky looking) to set hit water and/or his feet on. We can hear an acoustic guitar in the background. The NEO HIPPY speaks to the crowd in a intimate/friendly fashion, looking people in the eyes, trying to make them see the substance of his Trip.

Ok guys, this is the character talking, not me. Can we ohm. Just for a minute. We're all going to sit still and close our eyes and just say ohm. Humour me, ok?

Ohmmm.... Ohmmmmm... Ohmmmm... (etc)

Ok. That was cool. It's kind of like a way to say, I'm here, you're here, we're here, we're together in this thing. And now that we're together we can do all kinds of stuff, and it'll all be good, because we're in it together.

So I'm just going to drop my philosophy for you guys right here at the top, ok? Get it out of the way. This is the nice pat way I have it written down, the fortune cookie version. But really it's a deep little idea, and so I'm just going to plant it here at the beginning and then let it grow out a little for ya, and that's the piece.

This is stuff thats both profound yet encredibly trite, but bear with me for a few minutes. The reason I'm telling you this, is because I think we can always hear stuff like this again, and I think it can be exciting enough that we can all- we can all get a little bit high on it.

So, here goes. "The truth always feels better."

Cool. I can see you get that. But real quick let me just put on the spice, the spin, the real juice, so to speak. The reason this is so heavy is that the core of it is love. And if the core of it is a seed of love, the the rest of it, the meat, the apple, the tree, what it grows up to be, that's us and our bodies and our mouths and ears and they way we pass signals back and forth between eachother.

There's a funny idea out there that talking doesn't matter. Now, matter is that hard stuff like the floor here. Well, things that you say do matter, starting at the most basic possible level. Check it, when you speak to someone, you can speak words to them that won't change them much, or you can speak words to them that will change them a great deal.

I mean, that's obvious, right? You can say, like, "I had an ok day" and that's just fluff, or you can say something like, "I love you" which can really send someone to the moon. It has to do with things like the amount of energy and the amount of information that are there in the words.

The thing is, the truth has all this energy to it. And a lie doesn't have any. It's kind of a negative energy space. So what is the truth? Well, the truth is a lot of things. Really simply, it's accurate information and a lie is inaccurate information. But when it comes to our individual experiences, the truth, or rather "our truth" , has a lot to do with what we percieve, with what we believe.

But if your personal truth is out of line with the facts of the matter, the objective state of things, you're really living a lie, and when the truth, the truth the you're living a lie, bacomes apparent to you, that's a heavy truth. It's got a lot of energy, a lot of information.

So really, truth is about communication, because the truth that goes unknown might as well not be there, right? I mean, if it's sitting in a vaccum, it's never going to become a part of anyone's life, so you can sort of write it out of the script, you know?

So communication. Let me go somewhere with that for a second. I'm going to break out the five levels of communication. It's good shit. You have five levels from top of bottom, least meaningful (i.e. least truthful) to most meaningful:

Level 5 - ritual communication
This has little to no truth value. "Hi, how are you?" "I'm fine." You didn't want to know how they were, chances are they're not fine. It's a ritual, basically meaning "I see you, I know you" and "Me too". You might as well just Ohm with someone. That would have a lot more truth to it, because it wouldn't pretent to be anything else. It wouldn't be pretentious.

Level 4 - reporting facts
This is the most minimal level of truth. "Hi, how are you?" "I'm fine, just had a bagel". So there we have some real factual information going on. Real face value communication.

Level 3 - ideas and opinions
This is where it starts getting interesting, where we get into things we think. So it's like, "Hi, how are you?" "I'm fine, just had a bagel." "Cool. I like bagels." So there you have someone offering their opinion on bagels. Now, granted, bagels aren't a topic buring with relevance in todays era, but at least someone's talking about something real. You can see how that might get more intense.

Level 2 - emotions
Deep breath. Here's where it's real. We reach level two when we're talking about how we really feel. As in, "Hi, how are you" "Fine, just had a bagel" "Cool I like bagels" "Yeah, me too. I think I like that girl that works the counter at the bagel shop." I mean, that's really the first time I've been interested in this conversation. Suddenly, the amount of truth is surging and there's really something happening here.

Level 1 - peak communication
Ok, I can't give an example of this. That's why it's level one. This is where communication starts to transcend language, where the words you speak are not only truthful, but all the subtext and undercurrents are also shared between the communicative partners. I like to think that making love can get you to level one, but so can a lot of things, taking acid with someone might get you there. It's just a matter of having a shared lexicon of experience to draw on, and you make up your own language of pure truth.

So I hope this gives you an understanding how powerful and real truth is, because I'm going to tell you something true right now. I love all of you. Not all in the same way, but there are infinite kinds of love, and each kind of love is infinitely deep, so I really mean it when I say I love all of you. Even if you don't love me back. Especially if you don't love me back.

I'm not trying to get anything by saying that, by the way. I'm just letting out the truth. I mean, you could also describe truth as the lack of manipulation. I'm not angling at anything here, other than you hearing me.

But you know what the real bitch of truth is, in real life? It's that in interpersonal terms, the truth is often very unsatifying, because the truthful answer to many questions is "I don't know."

What do you want? What do you want to be? Where do you want to go?

We're faced with these questions all the time, and you look bad if you always answer "I don't know." It's like, "next time on 20 questions, a complete ass!" "I don't know", "I don't know", "Uhhh... shit, I should know that but...","I just don't know."

So no one wants to be like that, but if you don't answer "I don't know", if you say or do anything different you're really just guessing, and if you guess wrong guess what? You're lying. And that's going to take you bad places because the truth always feels better. So don't be afraid of saying I don't know when it's the truth.

Of course, a lot of people say "I don't know" when they really do know, and that's different again, because that's a lie. A lie of omission, but it's not any less bad to do that, just FYI.

So what the fuck is the truth?

  • Truth: the absence of manipulation
  • Truth: the single most powerful thing in the universe
  • Truth: the most worthy pursuit of humanity, in the arts and the sciences
  • Truth: the most admirable reason for being

Now, just think about this. You can re-do all those statements with love. That's because love is the truth and the truth is love. Think about it, if you love someone, what are you? You're true to them. It's a real thing!

Truth, love, it's the universal language. it's the force that ties us all together. The stories we share, the people we know, the experiences we have, if they're real and they're valuable then they're all filled with truths, and they all amount to love. It's what's filling up this room right now: truth and love, love and truth. It's a real thing, it's a beautiful thing. And I think we can all agree that if we're going to make the world the place it needs to be, we've got to have a lot more true love out there.

So without further ado, I give you axiom: showcase for truth and love.

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© Josh Koenig | You can perform, read aloud, copy, print, distribure or otherwise be inspired by this to your heart's content. Please don't re-publish for profit or plagarize it though. And if you ever do anything with it (i.e. performance), let me know!

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Trips in Space and Time 8/02/03

Big Wheels in Berkeley
I scored a set of west-coast wheels today at the Ashby BART station flea market. It's a very tall schwinn road bike, black, deceptively heavy but smooth-riding. Thirty-five dollars to boot. I oiled and cleaned the works, dialed in the bakes and took it out for a shake-down cruise immediately. Nice riding on a beautiful saturday, realizing how out of shape I am as I wheezed my way though the hilly area behind the Berkeley campus.

After about an hour I started to get the swing of it. Made some minor mechanical adjustments (including a free wheel truing at the bike collective on Shattuck), drank a few liters of water and started finding my groove, cruising up and around and ending up with a beautiful view of the whole bay. The roads here are not kind to the speed inclined -- too many stop signs and crosswalks and lights -- but it was good to get out and proj for a while. This changes my summer dramatically.

...older trips...


Smother Me With
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