How does one live an Aristasian life when one is forced to be in the Pit? This is a simple question, with a not- so- simple answer. The question is really two questions: firstly, is it possible to live in an Aristasian manner in the Pit, and secondly, how does one begin to do so?
The first question is perhaps answered by saying that although you may be forced into visiting the Pit at regular intervals, if you are an Aristasian, you do not live in it. No pette needs to live in the Pit. The weight of the Pit is such that it tries to persuade one that it is impossible to live upon the earth and not live in the Pit; but this is a confidence trick. By dint of repeating itself endlessly, and shaping the things that surround us, the octupus seeks to persuade us that the Pit is the only reality and that we must live in it whether we hate it or not. But it is not true. No-one needs to live in the Pit. You and I do not need to live in the Pit. We do have a choice.
So, given that we do not wish to live in the Pit, how do we leave it? As Auntie Effie said in response to her questioner, the outside and the inside are linked together. Each will affect the other. Having made the decision not to live in the Pit, we must consider the consequences of such a decision to secede from the Pit.
Having made that decision, we are separated from bongos, are we not? We have decided that we will no longer see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and speak with their tongue. What is a bongo? A wiser maid than I would probably have a better answer, but I would describe a bongo as one who is shaped by the Pit and thinks the thoughts, feels the feelings and performs their actions as the Pit directs. Some bongos know in their hearts that these things are upside down and wrong--but they are not lucky enough to be able to escape from the Pit, for whatever reason. We are.
So how do we make good our escape? How do we link the inner and the outer? There is one good rule to remember--whatever is considered important in the Pit, it is best to avoid! The things that are considered important in the Pit are all the things that are used to control thoughts. For example, many bongos are astonished if they are told that one doesn't watch 'the news' or read the 'newspapers'. This is because these things are one of the prime methods of telling them what they are supposed to think next. Many bongos will feel guilty if they should miss the news for more than a day or so. They feel that they have a duty to watch it. I believe that this is because at some level they know that this is one of the most important methods used for their thought instruction, and that their natural desire to do what one believes one is supposed to do is used against them in this way. It also fulfills the function of giving them something in common with each other, so that they have something to chat about.
The easiest way to start living in an Aristasian manner is in the Hestia. It is the one place that you can completely control (unless you are rather unfortunate). How on earth should one start? Well, remember that the Aristasian pette that you most admire probably started very close to where you find yourself. It is no sin to be a beginner! Look around your Hestia, and take a careful note of everything in it that is bongo. If you find this hard to do, look at real magazines and books with pictures of real things until you acquire a sense of what real things look like. Compare the things around you with those articles. Anything that is real is safe. Anything that is not real is undesirable to have in the Hestia.
It may seem a large and hard task; but remember that you are not alone in your struggles. Every pette has the same problem. It is a hard task--but it need not be all done at once. Some items may be impossible or take a very long time to find. Keep looking. Buy every real thing that you can. Some things one cannot do without, and one must keep the bongo variant until one can find a real replacement; but if you have lots of real things around you, you will at least have some racinating articles to enjoy and to help to root you, like a breath of fresh air. Bongo items that cannot be replaced, such as a cinema projector (I cannot bring myself to say the beastly bongo word but I expect you know what I mean!) should be covered when not in use to avoid an offence to the eye and a reminder of the Pit. But do make up your mind to be as ruthless as possible with bongo items. It is important, much more so than it appears.
Make a decision to throw away one bongo deracinated item a day, or a week, or whatever period of time that you prefer. It is very likely that to start with, you will find things that you do not really need and do not even like at all, but that have been kept because it may come in useful one day or because of a habit of not being wasteful, or for some other reason. These items could go without even a tiny inner wrench of any kind at all, couldn't they? Start with these. That would not be too hard to begin with, would it?
Some pettes may feel a little shy when they start making changes around themselves, and not know how to deal with comments that bongos may make on these changes. This is particularly true when one starts to change one's appearance. There are ways of protecting oneself from this. No pette wishes to be made to feel awkward or uncomfortable, and in the next article in this series we shall describe some tips to deflect and prevent unwelcome comments.