The other day, as I sat drinking a coffee at the local Sunday morning puces, the flea market, I suddenly noticed how happy everybody seemed to be, despite all that has been going on here in France.
Browsing racks of clothes or crates of second-hand books, bumping into friends with smiles all round, chatting away at the tables in the café, these people were quite obviously pleased to have come together in the gusty spring sunshine.
The same thing is true of the little gatherings of our village pro-freedom group.
Here, we devote our time, in between eating and drinking of course, to discussing the dangers ahead of us and how we can best play our part in countering them, but we have nevertheless noted the pleasure we feel in simply being there with each other.
I experienced an intensified form of this feeling in March 2021, in the heart of the grim Covid clampdown, when I travelled to the small town of Les Vans for a defiant fête de la résistance, featuring rebel musicians HK et les Saltimbanks.
The joy that we all felt at being together again, at walking and dancing and singing as one, unmasked and uncowed by the reign of fear, was of the kind that literally brings tears to the eyes.
What exactly is it, this powerful and primal surge of happiness that courses through our veins when we are united with other people with some kind of common aim, even when this aim is simply to enjoy ourselves?
In the spirit of the terminology that I developed in The Withway, I would say that it is with-energy, the power we find within ourselves when we are aware of our belonging to something greater than our individual being.
The system knows that this with-energy is its greatest foe.
It demonstrated this quite blatantly with its Covid-pretexted demands for “social distancing”, allied with a raft of “emergency” measures aimed at ensuring that we came together with as few people as possible in real life and that all our relationships were mediated by its matrix of control.
But, in truth, it has long been working towards the same aim, destroying living communities everywhere, replacing horizontal relationships with vertical ones, peddling a creed of pseudo-individualism in which each of us is supposed to be at the same time meekly obedient to central power and blindly callous to the needs and wishes of our fellow citizens.
It ever seeks to divide us, into anti-this and pro-that, anti-that and pro-this, into “left” and “right”, into the red team and the blue team, into hundreds of different “genders” and “identities”, into successive generations that reject everything their parents and grandparents ever thought and whose views and tastes have been deliberately manufactured so that they can enjoy no reference to the past and can be guided only by the inverted morality of the system itself.
However, the global gangsters are seriously deluded if they imagine that all this will succeed in eliminating our innate with-energy.
Their plastic excuse for a “philosophy” imagines that people are merely separate individuals, random units that can be brought together or separated from each other by the firm hand of their authority.
And yet this is not so. One of the fundamental insights of the organic radical tradition is that the individual level of being – crucially important as the only direct and unpollutable channel between the collective soul and the physical realm – is not the only one.
The reality, of which we are not always aware because of the practical need to deal with our individual living, is that we are merely temporary flowerings of a greater organic entity, which embraces not just humankind, but the whole of nature and indeed the cosmos.
The tingling with-energy that we feel, when we are reminded of our belonging to an aspect of that greater organism, is a sensation taking place within the body of the Whole, a shared sense of existing on a larger scale than the merely individual.
That belonging is always there, in fact, so these moments of with-pleasure amount to a rediscovery of something of which, deep down in our blood and our bones and our belly, we were already aware.
The joy we gain from coming together with other people is the joy of remembering our belonging to a greater natural entity, the joy of remembering who we are.
The system wants us to forget. It wants us to forget our history, it wants us to forget all the crimes it has committed against us, it wants us to forget that we need love and freedom in order to flourish, it wants us to forget that we belong to something much older and much more powerful than its ephemeral money-based empire.
But ignorance or denial of that belonging does not affect its reality.
When we come together and feel with-energy, we connect to that reality.
When we understand what this with-energy is, we are remembering that reality.
When, together, we consciously use our with-energy to reclaim our belonging to that reality, we will become so strong and so free that no system will be able to hold us down.