in dire need of noes & the lost covenant of good sense

A little wondering into where
our good sense
has gone.

the way of the nose

Good sense about trivialities is better than nonsense about things that matter~ Max Beerbohm

Our physical senses meet the world and allow us to travel through it:

sense (n.)      c.1400, “faculty of perception,” … probably a figurative use … literally meaning “to find one’s way“.

These senses
provide a legion of …







map maker


very interesting

nosey busybodies –

all serving the bodies
we (barely) inhabit.

sense (n.)      c.1400, “faculty of perception“.

A clear view of the world grants a position of power – according to power‘s fundamental meaning:

power – ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something

Yet so many of us live lives of unimaginable dullness & repetition.

Where has our power to act gone to?

Back to our senses:

perceive (v.)   c.1300 … ” notice, see; recognize, understand,” from Latin percipere “obtain, gather, seize entirely, take possession of

hmmm … “seize entirelytake possession of“.”

Nope, that’s not us – we’re more along the lines of Michelangelo’s…


… limp & listless Adam

Just what did Mr Buonarroti know
about the results of splitting off from our senses?

What did he know of our inability to
seize entirely
take possession of

When did the limpness come?

Was it engineered?

What would happen
if you had all the nourishing food in the world
but your lips had been …


… all but completely sewn up?

What would life be like if your brimming bank account
was seized by the authorities
and you had to survive …


… on handouts?

Without access to what we need, whether physically, emotionally, mentally and/or spiritually, we begin to starve.

Our senses provide us with
unique information (food)
that our
unique bodies

Would you pour water into your petrol tank & smile?

Because that is what we are doing in much of our life.

As part of my ongoing sleuthing into the fuck up of childhood, I would like to bring attention to the criminal loss of a GREAT & now tragically uncommon, sense:


sense of dislike‘.

It’s funny how hard it was to find a picture portraying a ‘real’ sense of dislike – in the end I had to go with the ‘monkey’ … it looks as if “dislike” is not ok in humans.

How often have you squeezed just …


…  one more smile out of your face?  Or swallowed another fiery belch of rage at some injustice against yourself or someone else?

For how many years has humanity had to …

smile more

…  smile for the camera?

Not smiling these days seems to imply
like the same kind of threat that comes
from “loners”
who like to
walk in the dark.


I’m thinking that the degradation of our wondrous sense of dislike began with having to make ourselves ‘like’ so many unpalatable things in childhood – the phrase:

“You’ll like it & be grateful (or else)!”

… being the merest tip …


… of the tip, of the ice-berg.

To walk sincerely, reverently & open-eyed through our childhoods would call forth more instances of liking the unlikable than we can possibly process. Liking the unlikable is also part of the sacrifice of life that children make to keep their fragile parents safe upon their pedestals.

One of the most virulent plagues visited upon those who inherited the Western world is the plague of …

I don't know 3

… not knowing what we want.

I suggest that this has everything to do with our disconnect from the
life- affirming

The sense of dislike when applied to food warns us of …

use by

… poison, toxicity or generally something that is not good for our body. Our taste buds have developed over millennia, their intimate connection to the needs of our personal digestive system is criminally ignored – satisfying our taste buds is sacred work.

The new, improved
“taste buds” …

tongue experts

… just get stuck in your throat

Dislike of any kind warns us of toxicity to our individual, personal & unique self.

It may make no sense,

be unprovable,




and yet …


a warning siren is going off inside of us.

If you ignored the warning sirens during the London’s Blitz you would probably have been …


… decimated. If you warn a fire alarm going off in your home, you will probably be incinerated.

The sense of dislike is about basic survival – enabling us to exist.

So why has our sense of dislike been so severely fucked with?  We now live in a world where fair is foul & foul is fair & we can’t tell the difference.

Of late I have been practicing dislike – it is not coming easy.

The first time I consciously reactivated this sense a few months ago, I was out on a walk. I discovered that …

fenced in

I dislike fences.

It seems everywhere I go these days more & more people are putting up fences & shutting themselves off from the world. I can’t tell you why I dislike fences though I could make guesses.

My dislike of fences may seem to have no relevance, but I feel it does.

How come I never knew this before?

If I didn’t know this,
how many other things have I missed?

How many things, people, events have sat toxically in my life
while my sense of dislike
has been disengaged?

Surely it would be like taking the sense of smell away from a dog. Could it even be a called a ‘dog’ without that?

Can we really be humans without our sense of dislike?

Wouldn’t we simply be consumers?

Oh wait … we already are!

In studying my aversion to dislike, I found fear.

Fear, that in the conscious recognition of ‘dislike’ I might cause pain or damage to the ‘dislikee‘. I was worried that if say I felt a sense of dislike towards a tree …


… I might somehow ‘hurt’ or injure it. That may sound ridiculous, but part of the reason we are so entoxified is that we won’t look at things inside ourselves in case we look or feel, ‘foolish’.

I have found that I cannot foresee what I will dislike – there are things I am sure will cause dislike, but when I allow myself to feel there is no repulsion at all. At other times I am completely surprised by what my body reacts to.

To switch this vital sense back on,
we have to practice it
& keep practicing it.

The things that we switched off to as children, we did so for survival – we don’t have an override switch to cancel that out – in a way we have to go back and start again.  And this time it’s harder because we have to keep facing into the feeling of fear that comes with unlearning, before we can relearn.

But it’s definitely doable.

Here’s a different way of seeing to help you on your way:

“Like (and dislike) originally flowed the other way: It likes me, where we would say I like it. The modern flow began to appear late 14c.”

So instead of feeling you dislike something …


… it might be that it dislikes you. Funny how less threatening that seems.

You might even like to use the word ‘mislike‘:

mislike (v.)   Old English mislician “to be displeasing”.

Either way, dislike or mislike is visceral – you won’t connect to your life-giving dislikes in your head.

When a dislike is made conscious it can be added to the map of you – which makes it easier to navigate in the future.

After practicing ‘disliking’, there will come a time when you can begin to progress consciously to working with your wholesome, healthy dislikes.

You do this with the word ‘No’.

no no

It ‘s only taken me ummmm ….. all of my life to begin to understand the power of the word NO. To understand that it is vital to whatever goals you seek to create. Not because it cuts things out of your life, but because it allows you to get clear on what really matters to you.

In the last few months it has seemed as if a steady stream of things have been  thrown in my path that previously I would have acquiesced to, & when now, I say No, I swear I have almost felt a change in the air – as if the ‘no’ was a part of a re-frequency’ing my self.  Not a test, just an opportunity to get more stronger & more precise about which choices are best for me now.

No seems a little like “space” –


… like ‘ma‘ … it is ‘ma’ that allows us to move.

Yes” feels like matter – that which we have said yes to & now exists.

No feels like the space within which
we can use this matter.

So perhaps it might be downright healthy for you to practice your ‘Noes’.

To honour your noes.

To follow your nose noes.

~  ~  ~

If you dislike this article
well … good for you!




This amazing work was created by Max – who has been using Humanizenz as a fun place to reconnect with, develop & practice his creating abilities.

April 11, 2013. Uncategorized.


  1. RICHIE replied:


  2. sineadmcarthy replied:

    Wonderful wonderful wonderful!!! Great post. I’m so sick if people at work telling me to smile. Why would I force a smile while doing work I despise? I’m sick of seeing these fake and forced smiles where people actually look like they’re in pain. This really got me thinking. I like the idea of switching it around. Those trees don’t like me, not the other way around. Loved your illustrations as well.

  3. Max replied:


  4. alex robinson replied:

    Roger RICHIE!

    Thanks sinead – there is such a fanaticism about looking happy & smiling – maybe it was a mass conspiracy by dentists to market braces – now we all have safe ‘uniform’ smiles. Also smiling seems to be connected with ‘being nice’ – i.e declaring that you are not a threat to the system.
    Maybe it’s time to practice growling…

    Hello Max– can I have that in picture form!

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