‘There is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind’-Virginia Woolf.

I have this unquestionably amazing ability of preventing myself from doing things. I often lie in bed and talk myself out of getting out of it. I can actually prevent my body from physically moving just by train of thought. Absurdly I resonate this projective throughout most things I do in life. I restrict myself from proceeding forth with just a basic insert in my brain, such as ‘there is no point, you can’t do it’ or ‘why even bother, you will never be good’. I often frustrate myself with my lousy effort and bogus attitude and I purely came to realise there must be depth or background to the limitation of things I determine I can do.

I uncovered the potency in restriction we face throughout life. From the womb we are administered a strict path of life-goals or targets to meet. We instantly restrict ourselves and others from obtaining full potential through our narrow, limited minds. Babies should be weaned off the breast by six months, toddlers should be toilet trained by two and a half years, children should be ready to attend school by the maximum of five years, by the age of twelve we should be moved on to further education, by sixteen we should be of sound mind to look after ourselves, we are now responsible for our own actions, to marry, to vote, but not to consume alcohol or smoke cigarettes. By eighteen you can drink alcohol but can only purchase it if you look over twenty five. We can gamble, drive a car and take prescribed drugs (but only when prescribed). Employment should be obtained, rent most certainly should be payed and taxes profoundly met. Rules should never be broken. Everyday we are unconsciously set up to trip over life’s social confinements. Take those limitations away and in fact humans are still capable of existing in a tolerant, unmerciful way, but keep these maxims in place, with the majority perhaps not excelling or meeting subsequent goals, therefore, diminishes a sense of worthiness and consequently creates a morbid tone of self doubt.

‘The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains’- Karl Marx. 

I am absolute in the knowledge that the restrictions I face are not wholly self-inflicted. Daily I’m met with suggestions which may hinder my potential. I’m employed within an industry that operates on a hierarchical level, restricting within reason my level of expected competency. A gigantic imaginary thumb pressed on my forehead. I learn I’m difficult, as managing techniques such as praising and reprimands become transparent and the idea and feeling of constriction impacts my romanticism of an otherwise creative craft.

‘All animals are equal but some animals are more equal that others’- George Orwell (Animal Farm). 

Thoroughly imprinted from birth we are moulded to accept the unacceptable, shaped to behave in a demeanour which is unchallenging to control. We worship a higher force through religion, we perceive merit through money and we idolise beings that we consider to have additional grandeur to ourselves. Materialism becomes meaning and we forget the fundamental reality of what is life?

Whilst I’ve searched vigorously in my quest to find my own path, I’ve unturned many supreme religious, non-religious and spiritual avenues which perfectly fit my pursuit of well-being. But my outlook is still plaintive and dissatisfied, I often wonder if I’m too engaged within a programme to ever connect with any true meaning of real life. I’ve toyed with my connection to my surroundings and my sole place in the universe but I am however searching for more. I recently came across the philosophy and the teachings of Albert Camus, who’s radical views suggest there may be no meaning of life at all.


‘Accordingly, absurdism is a philosophical school of thought stating that the efforts of humanity to find inherent meaning will ultimately fail (and hence are absurd) because the sheer amount of information as well as the vast realm of the unknown make total certainty impossible. As a philosophy, absurdism furthermore explores the fundamental nature of the Absurd and how individuals, once becoming conscious of the Absurd, should respond to it.’

‘Camus considers absurdity as a confrontation, an opposition, a conflict or a “divorce” between two ideals. Specifically, he defines the human condition as absurd, as the confrontation between man’s desire for significance, meaning and clarity on the one hand – and the silent, cold universe on the other. He continues that there are specific human experiences evoking notions of absurdity’. (Wikipedia).

After ordering my first of Camus’s books, I am aware that the little research I have achieved may only be the tip of the ice-berg, and further study may reveal conflicting notions, but I can’t help but feel enlightened in the encouragement that I can continue my voyage of non-conformity and rebellion through an alternative freedom of thought.

‘Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him’- Aldous Huxley. 

‘The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion’- Albert Camus. 

Long live the VEF and it’s one-nil to me QUEEN!

All images taken by Mark Ireland, Artist/Designer.

Instagram @MI.A1972

Print enquiries anikinmark1972@gmail.com

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