Friday, 19 September 2008

A Parable!

Once upon a time there was a poor but honest man. He lived in a small town and his small house overlooked the town's railway station. He had heard stories that once in every lifetime the "Gravy Train" stops at the station and for the price of ticket passengers were allowed to board it and by taken off on a journey to fame and fortune. Every day he would get up and think to himself "this will be the day when the Gravy Train will come and it will take me away from this little town forever".

But every day it didn't come. But he was an optimistic little chap and he continued to believe that one day his time would come.

Then one crisp and sunny autumnal morning it happened. He woke up and as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes he heard a loud whistle. He ran over to his window, thrust the curtains aside to see a gleaming train standing at the station platform, magnificant plumes of steam wafting over the small town and obscuring the little, huddled houses. "The Gravy Train!" he cried to himself as he quckly dressed himself. "Today is my day!"

He ran into the street and over to the station. In front of him he saw The Great & The Good of the small town dressed in their best finery. The doctors, the university professors and the teachers all climbing onto the Gravy Train. He thought to himself "These people already have all they need... why are they being allowed on the train?" He ran forward to the gate. As he tried to get through a big, bewhiskered ticket collecter barred his way. "Where do you think you are going sir?" the inspector asked. "I want to get on the train ... it is my big opportunity, my once in a lifetime chance, please let me past" the little man replied, adjusting is badly knotted tie and feeling somewhat under dressed for the occasion.

But the ticket inspector was adamant. "You have no ticket, you are not authorised to travel". "But how can I get a ticket? ... nobody told me that the train was arriving" the little man exclaimed, trying vainly to hold back his tears of frustration. The ticket inspector, moved by the tears, smiled at the little man but still clearly had no intention of letting him past.

"Look, the tickets were distributed weeks ago. The train company only want The Great & The Good on the Gravy Train. It is not for people like you. You would never have been told in advance nor be allowed to buy a ticket".

The little man, tears in his eyes, turned away. as he walked back to his tiny house he heard the sounds of laughter and merriment as the Gravy Train drew out of the station. He walked across the dusty road, his one big chance denied him because he didn't have a ticket ... a ticket he could never buy because as he now knew, He wasn't, and never could be, one of the Great & Good because they kept things to themselves and for themselves.

And then it then began to rain .....


Firstly I would really like to thank all of you who sent in emails to the BBC yesterday. I was amazed by the response and I am sure that the BBC were impressed by both the numbers and the geographical spread of these communications. However it seems that we were simply too late.

I managed to get through to BBC Radio 2 lunchtime. I had been tipped off by Dr. Alan Roberts that NDE was again being discussed. I phoned up and managed to get through to the studio of the Jeremy Vine Show. The guy on the phone was understanding but explained to me that the show was about to come to an end and I was simply too late. All very sad and not a little frustrating. This is not the first time this has happened.

This time last year my local radio station (BBC Radio Merseyside) had a whole feature on Deja Vu. Now I had been interviewed by the same station only a couple of months before and I had discussed how crucial to my theory was the deja phenonomenon. However rather than deciding to get a local 'expert' on the subject into discuss it BBC Radio Merseyside contacted Dr. Chris Moulin of Leeds University. Now in my opinion Chris is doing some fascinating work at Leeds (and references me on his website) but he is hardly "local" - and after all what is local radio for? Again I received lots of phone calls informing me that this was taking place so I phoned up the station. Similar to yesterday I was told that it was too late to have me on the show, even via the phone.

Both yesterday and after the Radio Merseyside 'incident' I was told that that was the end of their discussions on NDE (and Deja Vu) and they had no intention of airing the subject any more. Just like the reviewing editor of Fortean Times informed me when I begged her to at least consider reviewing ITLAD - that "We have done NDE to death in recent months and are not interested in your book or its conclusions" - it seems that I am always too late - just like the little man in my story. It seems that it is impossible to be invited onto these shows because "The Great & The Good" are always called to give their opinions ... not uppity little scousers with intellectual ideas above their station!

But we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down, and start again!

6 comments:

SM Kovalinsky said...

Tony: Your parable is beautiful, and comes to me at a time when I, too, have been booted from that very train. (It is 4:30 am and I have not been to sleep, as I am reeling from some terrible news I have just received.) I did write a beautiful praise of your work to Radio 5 Live, and forwarded a copy to you. Just remember, as Kierkegaard says, to lose the odds may be your peculiar task; perhaps even your genius. A very strong argument can be made for a future for Peakian theory which is removed from the trendy NDE literature. You may be being protected from such even as you are being positioned for a very different place in a richer venue. (My philosophical intuition about you, from the beginning, that you are not a NDE or life after death scholar, but something along the lines of a quantum neo-classical theorist who will make waves in the fields of philosophy and ethics.) Keep hope alive, and know that all manner of things can be well, incorporated, used, redeemed.

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Can anyone else see the slightly autiobiographical subtext within this parable?
*smile*

Tony: If one misses a 'Gravy Train' then we must presume (using pure ITLAD theory) that one was never intended to catch said train.
(on that occasion)
Unlike British trains, we can usually assume that another one will be along shortly.
I have two tickets for the next Gravy Train mate, one of them is for you.

Anthony Peake said...

SUSAN MARIE: Thank you again for your supportive comments. I do agree with you that NDE has now become a much less important element of an uber-theory that we all now know as Itlad. However I guess that if it is reduced down to to an answer to the question "What is itlad about?" then the single (three, two word?) anser would be Near-Death Experience and that is why I was so frustrated last week.

But thanks to SM and all the oters who bombarded the BBC with emails.

Anthony Peake said...

KARL: "Autobiographical subtext. I don't know what you mean???!!!

Seriously the thought did cross my mind that this has to be seen in an itladian framework and as you say another will be along soon!!!

SM Kovalinsky said...

Tony: I have posted under the other, regarding that dream, which had a most portentous aura to it. On forum, under the Itladian philosophy sect., I have posted up a piece on you in terms of Kantian's intelligible character, and the sense that Schopenhauer, in his famous critique and solution, solved this gropingly, by using: guess what? An early form of Mr. Anthony Peake's Cheating the Ferryman thesis. Now if that is not amazing , I do not know what is. There is far more to your theory than mere NDE and trendy interest in the afterlife. You are safely called into the philosophical realm, which moves more slowly, but more surely. Tell me what you think of forum post when you have the time.

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Tony:
"KARL: "Autobiographical subtext" I don't know what you mean???!!!"
*chuckles*