Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Iphgenia Baal

Matthew Stone and friends interview Iphgenia Baal.

Matthew Stone: How can we change the world and what is there to be done?

Iphgenia Baal: It is impossible not to change the world. But, I reckon you are asking how to change the world for the better which I just have to be mainstream about and relate back to Star Wars. No, I could do Hindis and Christians. Someone once explained Hindi to me (I bet I miss loads of things). Essentially you are reincarnated time after time after time and the purpose of each life is to have as little effect on the world as possible, to change things as little as possible, to focus your energies inside instead of making other’s understand your point of view. Depending on how well you do, your reincarnation makes things more or less easy. If you have hardly any impact on the world, you come back as tree, then an ant, then a gnat, then as an amoeba (I missed out some stages but you get the idea) and then eventually, one day you die and, if the life you have just lived has changed nothing, effected nothing you die and then you cease to exist. Ping! Nirvana. Christians on the other hand have marched all over the world pillaging villages in the attempt to ‘spread enlightenment’. Christians march and conquer and preach. Which essentially means they fight and lie. I think the problem is that, if you want to get noticed in this world, you have to start early, put in the time to promote whatever it is you are doing from a young age when, in fact, that is the time you should be figuring out what it is you mean. But, if you take that time to figure out what it is you mean, by the time you have figured it out you will probably dead. And so, have no time to tell everyone else about it.

I think you just have to trust everyone else. I mean, there are exceptions to these rules. I mean, you need Ghandi. And Kapil. So, you can make exceptions in certain lifetimes based on trust. Change the world for the better one this time round and then make up for it in the next by shutting the fuck up. But screw it, no one needs the Catholic Church.

I guess my answer is, you don’t have to change the world, just make sure you don’t fuck it up anymore. And yes, that includes ridiculous attempts at self-promotion for “the good of the world”.

MS: Can we ever be truly free?

IB: I don’t think any group of people can ever be truly free. The provisos protecting human rights and freedom which any entity governing a body of people, by their very existence detract from the freedom they are protecting. But, any one individual can indeed be free. Find the middle of yourself, arrange the rest of it in an order which allows you to exist. Congratulations. You are free. Now, what are you gonna do?

MS: What do you have faith in?

IB: That lies, deceit and bad intentions always reveal themselves. And the learning of a collective consciousness. I mean, that’s not something I believe in, I don’t have to. You can just see it and it’s awesome. Like how people learned to draw. Crazy.

Nicola Lane: What does success mean to you?

IB: No idea.

Jack Brennan: What film fits your vision of the future best and why? (The film needn't be set in the future.)

IB: The future? Or my future? The future - Doom Generation My future, I can’t give you the plot, but the setting (it’s not a film) is described perfectly in The Destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentleman by J.P. Donleavy. Only, I hope less lonely.

MS: What question should be added to this list?

Iphgenia Baal: What is the one thing about you that undermines all the opinions you have made above?

1 comment:

dalston shopper said...

Some very interesting thoughts here. But assuming that you believe that the human has a state of awareness/consciousness of its existence, the very capacity to understand that it has this awareness, to dream and to think about things in a way that we have never observed in any other life form, then how does attempting to do as little as possible to interact with the world we live in in hopes that we can be further and further incarnated as a life form that has less perception of its existence, less "consciousness", until it eventually dies and reaches nothing-ness, which is supposed to be Nirvana, be sensible? I'm not saying I'm an expert in this philosophy, but as a matter of basic logic it doesn't seem to make sense.

But you say, but how do you know humans have a better intelligence, or self-consciousness than other life forms. I would say, how do you not know, and if so, how can you play a whole life based on the possibility that that's the case?

But for sure the great thing Iphgenia says, which I have become increasingly aware of, is the conflict between the time it takes to figure things out and the time it takes to make something happen in life. Though I think it may take a lot less time to "change the world for the better" than to "get noticed" in some art world success/pr media/web world-wise way. This is especially difficult when you figure out too late in life that who you are as a person really needs fundamentally to be doing big things and/or well known.