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Saturday, 23 March 2019

Braxted Reservoir Part One 'The Trance & The Hypnotists'

This blog is going to be in two parts, in the second part I'm going to be accounting for a nice relaxed session up on Braxted Reservoir. There's a link at the bottom of this post that will take you directly to the session blog. In this first part I'd like to try and explain to you my viewpoint on "the outside world". I refer to "the outside world" as the place beyond the sanctuary of the waters and rivers we fish. What effects society has a tendency to bleed over into angling, I hope you can see the connection I'm trying to make. Some of what I'm going to say might sound like the ramblings of a madman, I'm fine with that, sanity is overrated.   

Having spent the last couple of months focusing solely on Cants I felt inspired at the prospect of shifting my attention elsewhere. In some respects I'm my own worst enemy because I never consistently stick to one water for a long length of time, once I start to catch regularly, I have a tendency to move on, coming back to 'said water' when it takes my fancy. I like fishing this way because it widens my perspective and keeps me thinking, I don't get bored. As we know, every water is different and the more scenarios you find yourself up against, the more your knowledge base expands and alters as does your experience. As mentioned before, I'm still writing my 2016 sessions up, existing as an angler in 2019 my viewpoint has taken a major shift. I'm starting to get the urge to branch out further afield, I mentioned the slight frustration I was feeling in my previous blog. I'm seriously considering taking on a big pit of some kind, something that I can really focus on and get into a rythm of fishing on a regular basis. I like the idea of bleak wide open spaces with little, to no knowledge of what the water contains. Part of me feels that my 'club water days' are slowly coming to an end. Over the next few months I'm going to be considering my next move very carefully.

In regards to big pits, I feel the seed was planted decades ago but its just taken a while to firmly root. Many moons back in the days of the VHS video I remember watching a film of Andy Little and David Seaman fishing a huge desolate water, it was a deep old gravel pit with an unknown stock. The film documented 7 days of fishing, I recall the endless thought process they went through to try and extract the mystery that lurked within its eerie depths. They worked tirelessly to try and make something happen, it was on the 6th day that a breakthrough occurred. For a good few days they'd been constantly feeding their swim, both of them stood there, each with a throwing stick and they just kept on applying bait. Carp finally started to show, I can literally see it in my mind now as I type these words, out across this huge hostile landscape, life was emerging. Single shows turned into multiple acrobatic displays. The bottom was clearly starting to get kicked up and then ... 'BANG' .. it all kicked off. There was something about extracting life from something so wild and untapped that had a long lasting effect on me.

Below The Surface
 

I had a recent conversation with a friend when we were discussing the very simple subject of existence, one point I made, which pretty much sums up where my mind is at was, "my interest is focused below the surface, dry land is far too obvious" - What I mean by this could be seen as complicated, "try and bare with me whilst I go off on a rather long tangent"

Lets Take A Trip Down The Rabbit Hole
  
On a day to day basis you pretty much know what's going to happen, we wake and we work and we abuse ourselves trying to get by. We're all continually chasing after something, an idea of happiness that's been cleverly implanted in our minds by a number of influences, a happiness that may not actually exist. Personally I'm still trying to work out what that 'happiness' is, one thing I'm certain of, it doesn't involve expensive cars, big houses and loads of money. I believe 'it' contains a far greater amount of substance than anything material. Along side that, you can literally predict the day to day conflict, it's completely out of hand, a massive majority are now so divided in their views and opinions that it's almost irreparable. In reality this shouldn't cause problems, but it does. Due to the current 'political climate' in the UK, never before has a line been drawn so deeply between the population. I'm hearing all these 'slogans' and 'buzz terms' that in theory, don't actually exist. Through the years they've been made to exist, I see this as a product of 'social engineering', many think they have their own mind and their own opinions, it can come as quite a shock when people wake up and realize they don't. Your opinions are formed and shaped by the information you're exposed to, I believe a vast majority of this 'information' is manipulated and designed to get a reaction and create friction. I started to write a poem about this and there's a line in it that says, "We're all infected with a virus, it's called media bias" - this line resonates with what I'm seeing around me, not just in the UK but all over the world.

It's Us Against Us

More than ever before people are defining themselves by meaningless labels, no longer do we use our names, you're either 'Conservative' or 'Labour', you're a 'Remainer' or 'Brexiteer', you're 'left-wing', 'right-wing' or 'center'. All these terms don't exist, they've been made to exist and each one has been given a meaning as a mechanism to divide and split the collective consciousness. There really doesn't need to be any divide because we're all sharing and existing on the same frequency, we're experiencing the same consciousness. A prime example I can give of the 'collective mind' operating as one was during the last world cup. I sensed a huge shift in peoples attitudes towards one another, we were all supporting the same thing. This produced an overall feeling of unity and it gave us all an amazing feeling of hope, for those that control, hope is a very dangerous thing. Once England got knocked out it took a matter of days for the usual divides to take hold again, the feeling in the air literally changed over night. But this gives us a glimpse of what society can feel like when our collective consciousness comes together. The more I observe the world, the more I believe that we're living in an engineered reality and as humans we're literally trapped in a collective trance that we can't break out of. 
  
Lead, Don't Follow

The creators of this trance are what I call the 'hypnotists', these are the mechanisms that keep us dumb and fixated on the 'unimportant'. They include the corporations, the media in all its forms, Hollywood, the music industry, the entertainment industry, the television companies, think tanks, celebrities, the list goes on, they're all around us in every area of our existence. It's these hypnotists that influence us on a day to day basis and many are completely unaware that this is the case. They form our world view, tell us how we should think and what we should feel, who we should like and who we should hate, what we should have and what we shouldn't. They do the thinking for us and many just take it all onboard without question. I believe the less self-belief you have the easier you are to influence, if you believe in both yourself and your actions, you'll have a natural resistance to this hypnosis. We have our own minds for a reason, and that's to use and develop them. The saying, "if you don't use it you loose it" rings very true here. And looking at society and the world in general, I think more people are losing their minds as opposed to using them. Before the worldwide web and smart phones it was far easier to remove yourself from the thought-control, but nowadays it's almost impossible. Until we break this trance the conflict and ill feeling is just going to escalate further. So how do we wake up? I don't think it's possible, as a race we're too far down the rabbit hole to be able to claw our way back out.

Down The Rabbit Hole
 

The idea of a 'trance' might sound utterly ridiculous to some of you out there, I can understand why. Surely to be in a trance we have to be asleep?. This isn't necessarily the case, both 'shock' and 'trauma' create a sleep like state even though our eyes are wide open and we're fully conscious. There are forms of hypnosis that can put you in a dream like state whilst you are completely aware of your surroundings. It's this form of hypnosis that our television set provides. How many times have you been watching TV only to realize that the hours have past and you've literally lost all sense of time. Another common symptom of how effective TV is as a trance inducing tool, how many of us find ourselves falling asleep in front of it, only to find that when we go to bed we can't seem to fall asleep as easily. Surfing the web has a very similar effect, I find that your awareness is locked so firmly on your screen that you're blind to anything else. If you're not careful a whole day can disappear and all you've got to show for it is a dozen or so carefully edited and choreographed social media updates. We're looking in the wrong places for substance, the term 'habitually distracted' comes to mind, we're so preoccupied with the 'meaningless' that we've lost sight of the 'meaning'. None of this is our fault, we're up against a finely tuned machine. Billions of pounds have been invested into learning about the human mind and how to manipulate it. Why is the trance so successful? There are many layers to this question but I have a main theory, it's perpetuated by targeting the lowest common denominators in our psyche.      

Don't Question, Stay In The Trance

A few of these denominators include the ego, vanity, greed, envy, anger and possibly, delusion. I believe we live in a society where these traits are being continually targeted and massaged. The more they're stimulated the more prominent and 'normal' they become within us, they're like muscles, the more they're worked the more they grow. When it comes to an outer influence stimulating the higher traits such as honesty, courage, imagination, loyalty and dependability, I see very little working towards bringing these to the forefront, it seems these traits are continually getting buried. The trance isn't contained to just one area of our lives, it's functioning in every aspect. In recent years angling has become infected, I think it's safe to say that, back in the late 70's and 80's, carp angling didn't really contain any 'hypnotists', it was all pretty much below the radar and only those on the waters knew what was going on. Unfortunately nowadays it's a very different story, the corporate machine has come and raped every ounce of honesty and beauty that carp fishing once held. We now have master hypnotists controlling and dictating to a 'mass' that's so consumed by the trance that a vast majority of independent thinking has been removed from the equation completely. Looking back over the lowest traits listed above, I see them all within modern day carp angling, ego and envy being the strongest by far.

Drop The Lead, You'll Land More Fish

It's at this point in this post that people may well disagree with what I'm trying to say, or they simply don't quite understand the point I'm trying to make, which is fair enough. But lets try and step outside of our angling minds for just a moment. One consequence of the trance that I find utterly absurd is dropping the lead on the take, I understand there's an argument that it's safer for the carp if you're fishing near snags or in weed. However, I don't think it should be dropped in any situation, if the weed and the snags are that bad then you shouldn't be fishing in that specific spot in the first place. But .. alas .. the 'catch at any cost' mentality is another symptom of the trance. When you look at it in the most straightforward way possible, we're traveling out into the countryside to occupy a place of beauty. We're placing ourselves in and amongst many living creatures and casting our lines into waters that contain their own ecosystem and universe. I was under the impression that anglers respected their environment and we simply slotted in and out without leaving a trace. But it would appear not, now we're dumping a highly toxic material in the waters in the name of "fish care". Does anyone actually understand just how ridiculous that sounds? unfortunately many many people don't see it as a problem. The master 'hypnotists' in modern day carp angling have such a huge influence that people are blind to the fact that we are slowly destroying the one thing that we're all suppose to love and look after. Is this statement over the top? ... no I don't think it is.

Monkey See Monkey Do
This is where 'celebrity obsession syndrome' rears its pathetic head. Through my eyes 'celebrity' is another meaningless word, it creates division, it's us, 'the lower' & them, 'the higher' - it's an illusion. It would appear if someone is on the television, in the movies, in the magazines and now on You-Tube or Instagram with millions of followers, all of a sudden they're elevated into a supreme being. They're propelled into the stratosphere, untouchable by us mere mortals. Suddenly everything they wear is a 'must have', everything they do has to be copied and everything that they say is gospel and, of course, 100% the truth. People will blindly follow 'celebrity', as if in a 'trance', and that's exactly what it is, all these apparent celebrities are just different examples of the 'hypnotists' I'm talking about. It's these same 'hypnotists' that convince hundreds of impressionable girls & boys to look a certain way, even if it's detrimental to their health. It's these same 'hypnotists' that distort their face with botox, thus inspiring many a 'beautiful' young person to do the same thing, disfiguring themselves in the process. In my eyes 'celebrity obsession' has an awful lot to answer for in this day and age. People need to develop their own mind and their own sense of self and stop relocating their self belief in a 'tin god'.  Let us not forget that it's this same 'celebrity obsession' that influenced hundreds, if not thousands of 'anglers' that dropping lead, a poison, into the water ways is exceptable and a new 'cool approach'. It's these same 'hypnotists' that teach you how to spend your hard earned money on outrageously overpriced tackle that you don't really need - just so you look the part out on the bank. However, one thing that's become very apparent, they certainly don't teach you manors, etiquette and consideration, these are all the good, valuable traits that, as mentioned before, aren't stimulated nowadays in any way.

So let us go all the back to my original point "my interest is focused below the surface, dry land is far too obvious" 
   
The above paragraphs explain how I see the world, it's not a forced viewpoint, I wish I had a far more "happy go lucky" way of looking at things, unfortunately I never have and that isn't going to change now. I find everything I see in the world around me to be an 'obvious' symptom of both the system and the collective trance. When I look to the waters, especially the idea of huge desolate pits and the possibilities that they hold, there is no trance, there is no 'left', no 'right' or 'center' and there is no divide. The information we receive when we're out in the wild isn't 'engineered', it's real, you don't know what's going to happen, nothing is obvious, there are no forces controlling or manipulating the outcome, only nature itself. I've spoken about all this many times before, those of us that fish are lucky, our 'get out clause' from the bullshit is when we cast those lines into infinity. Uncertainty in any other area of our lives is a stressful situation, but it's that same uncertainty that fuels us to get out and fish, it's that uncertainty that keeps us fixed behind our rods for countless hours, days and weeks. When you're away from the bullshit you can actually discover yourself and get a little bit closer to understanding who you are and what you want out of your life. How many people say they go fishing to "get away from the stresses and strains of everyday life". Have you ever asked yourself why you feel stressed and strained?, it's because our lives have been engineered to be that way, and since 'day one' its become normalized and accepted. When you get the time, cast your lines and break the trance. 

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