We are at a time when, as passive eclectic populace we half-arsedly celebrate a day or night when legend has it that the thin membrane between the living and dead is breached. How can we tell?
Is it a happy time, conceding that death is not rest but another round of pointless semi-existence, missing only the onerous, and of course, economically compromising physical organism?
Perhaps we, as official living laud it over the dead by proving, against all odds, that we are alive; following a Celtic summer’s end ritual so few understand, so few enjoy, so few respect and yet so many observe without insight or spirit. Perhaps we, the official living, can taunt the dead with our dignity, our joy, our laughter, our freedom of movement, speech and thought, and our capacity to actively contribute to change in our social, political and economic existence?
Where is the human soul in all of this ritualistic, almost numb habitual observance of our seeming love affair with all things dark. Perhaps Freud had a point with his duality of the human psyche – our life and death instinct, though what of that other simple yet untapped notion called life, and its verb living?
When we scoop out the flesh/meat of the pumpkin, make a face in it that looks so often anxious and exasperated, are we not psychically enacting our own regression as once thinking, living organisms somehow attributed with the wonderful capacity to actively contemplate and imagine life?
The pumpkin when lit up too often puts me in mind of the service indus-try where fully-fledged human be-ings have their character and personality – their flesh/meat – scooped out by corporate devils. The result is a brightly lit, false fixed face that shows anxiety of vulnerability to forces that are, in human terms, dead, yet are powerful and coercive and, are as mysterious and unknown as death itself.
There is a ritualistic and somewhat intimidating begging called ‘trick or treat’ and this appeals like a cold-caller or the desperately persistent salesman (usually male back then) who, having to feed a family, would not, even could not take no for an answer. At a time when there are real, so-called living, dark forces at work in this world, it seems childish to indulge in an apparent ignorant habit that merely deflects, momentarily, from the necessary seriousness of developing the art of living.
It’s not enough to work for inequity, toil for opportunistic exploitation of fellow living humans as if they were dead, nor is it enough to merely shop as a feeble expression of choice in ritualistic conformity.