Kick out the Jams Motherfuckers
JERRY HYDE defies categorization – Psychotherapist, coach, guide, mentor. He’s trained in Tantra, been buried alive, fasted in the wilderness for days; his most apt calling card would read Psycho-Therapeutic Shamanic Coaching Guru. Though he’s been working therapeutically for over 18 years now, Jerry’s not a distant blank screen analyst who conforms to any particular approach or system; he works from the ‘ledge beyond the ledge.’ In short, he’s Gonzo.
Gonzo therapy is an irreverent and left-field approach with an emphasis on celebrating and revealing latent creativity.
Based in London, Jerry’s international clientele is made up almost entirely from people in the arts. Jerry also runs Vision Quest Retreats. For the most adventurous amongst you: The next one is in the Tarkine Rain Forest in Tasmania late December 2013. His first book, Play From Your Fucking Heart, is due out in 2014.
Creative Therapy for Creative People: www.jerryhyde.co.uk
In his monthly column TRUTH AT ALL COSTS, Jerry encourages you to question, to challenge, to live creatively on your terms, to go Gonzo.
Kick out the Jams Motherfuckers
by Jerry Hyde
“We are not old men. We are not interested in your petty morals.”
Keith Richards said that in the dock at Chichester Crown Court 1967.
“Well if there ain’t gonna be any rules someone count one, two, three, go…”
Butch Cassidy said that.
Check out my website. Check out the testimonials man, people really dig me, they say really nice things y’know? Really flattering and complementary things, they say I changed their lives… They say I’m shit hot.
Like any sane businessman, dark and off-putting as my website may be, I’m not gonna put the shitty things people say about me up there am I? And from the amount of people that I’ve seriously pissed off over the years, I imagine there’s quite a lot of crap flying around out there.
One of the things some people might say about me, due to my somewhat cavalier interpretation of boundaries, is that I am an unethical psychotherapist. To those people I have three things to say:
a) Fuck you.
b) I’m not a psychotherapist – I renounced that title some years ago because I don’t like the connotations, it suggests a power imbalance and I don’t believe it serves our mental/psychological/emotional/spiritual wellbeing to seek help from people on pedestals. I am a human being who works with other human beings as a companion on whatever journey they choose to take.
c) I follow no code of ethics other than my own, ever changing, innate sense of the truth. Ethics, morality and rules are all born of fear, power and control. They are designed to stop people from thinking for themselves, to become automatons, to live life asleep. Their origins lie in organised religions that support an ideology based on eternal damnation for all those FOLLOWERS who disobey their dogma.
Not the most popular opinion I know, but bear with me here. This column is about creativity right? So – I am a person who claims to work creatively with creative people. How can I possibly do that within the confines of the rules? That strikes me as the opposite of creative – ethics are rigid, creativity…
And so consider this – the last, enigmatic words, of the Old Man of the Mountain, Hassan al Sabbah:
“Nothing is true…
Everything is permitted.”
Long interpreted as a dangerous calling to complete moral abandon, it was picked up and reframed by some of the most definitive artists of the 20th Century resulting in some of the greatest masterpieces of all time. Kerouac wrote On The Road on one long role of paper in a furious stream of consciousness tirade of poetry. Pollock replaced his brushes with turkey basters and invented action painting. Burroughs took out his scissors and cut up and pasted his prose. And Picasso broke all artistic convention and gave us Guernica.
And so, what had been seen as an incredibly threatening incitement to destroy all that was good and decent and pure and clean, became a clarion call to freedom of expression and creativity.
Now that’s what happens when ya break the rules baby.
Nothing is true.
Everything is permitted.
Now, given that I live by that rule and that rule alone, does that make me a dangerous maniac who should NOT BE PERMITED to work with the general public?
But don’t you think that’s a tad patronising to the general public? Don’t you think it rather supposes that people can’t think for themselves? I’d go as far as to say that we, as a species, have become so accustomed to blindly obeying, to quietly following orders (a phrase that will forever more have a certain chill to it) and that it is actually taken for granted that people cannot look after themselves.
What happened to instinct? To intuition? To our gut?
Now some of you will be saying at this point, ‘we need ethics in order to protect people from abuse by those in power.’
I say we need to stop making people feel smaller, less than, inferior, and that requires a radical shift in thinking. In Native American culture children are seen as the reincarnation of their ancestors and are therefore afforded the respect of elders. A child will never be warned (in an alarmed voice) to stay away from a pot of boiling water. The child will be informed, “that pot is hot.”
The child makes its own decisions.
You see where this is going?
Autonomy. Self-referencing. Authenticity.
I should say at this point that I am a conspiracy theorist. But then again, is it a conspiracy if it’s proven? I mean, we know that the people in power don’t really like it when we think for ourselves right? That’s what Bill Hicks meant when he pointed out, “it’s interesting that the two drugs – alcohol and cigarettes, two drugs that do absolutely nothing for you at all – are legal, and the drugs that might open your mind up to realise how you’re being fucked every day of your life? Those drugs are against the law. Coincidence?”
But to live by our own truth is… terrifying. It’s way out of the comfort zone man, people will hate you, laugh at you, despise you… fear you. You will be seen as abnormal, strange, dangerous. It means being totally adult, renouncing that need to be told by a parental figure how to be, what is acceptable – who you are.
But… you will be free.
Of course that begs the question – can you handle that much freedom? Can you risk that much honesty, living a kind of creative Tourette’s syndrome of spontaneous creative expression in a world gone mad with political correctness and dread of getting it wrong?
I say hell yeah, take a stand – shout your truth from the ramparts, wave your flag of freedom from high atop the piled corpses of mundanity, mediocrity and fear as we all hold hands together and recite in unison our very own Lord’s prayer, courtesy of Cecil Beaton:
Be anything that will assert integrity of purpose
And imaginative vision
Against the play-it-safers,
The creatures of the commonplace,
Of the ordinary.
Published: January 28th, 2014