“The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow, and loses today… The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.” ~ Seneca
You can don the mask of the Sacred Clown, the Rainbow Warrior, the Disaster Shaman, the Peaceful Warrior, or the Infinite Player, but “can” is too far in the future. It’s too much hinged on Tomorrow, and not enough anchored to Now.
If you’re not careful, such sacred energy will be nothing more than a passing placation, a lulling into the very stagnant waters in which it swims against, a poltergeisting between too-moral and too-immoral without considering the Amoral Now, The Immediate Dynamic, the Current Importance. “Now” is all we have.
Courage is what makes “now” an adventure. A sense of humor is what makes “now” tolerable. And the trickster archetype is what makes “now” a revelation: a surprising disclosure; a shocking exposure, an eye-opening exposé.
Here’s a second-person inquiry into the trickster-self, to reveal how we may or may not be playing like we’re not God:
So you wake up to a charcoal sky with a hint of sunken sun. Flummoxed and fluxed, your destiny is still muddy, but it’s becoming clearer. Your mind is a dark mystery attempting to solve itself, even while the universe smashes up entire galaxies in order to maintain its own symmetry.
You feel small, but you feel blessed to be a thing that feels at all. Your comfort zone is stretching. The horizon is no longer a distant thing. It is a recalibration. It is the Peripheral You diagnosing the parochial condition of morality and what it means to be a moral being in an immoral world that’s evolving through an indifferent universe.
It is you orienting yourself with your innermost amoral essence: the trickster-self, the aspect of you that has the power to turn the tables on the concept of power itself.
As trickster, your compass is multidimensional in your hand, mysterium tremendum et fascinans!
You look over the world of men, through their unsustainable buildings and creaking machinery, upon the steely juggernaut of the bustling city, splitting the fog with its artificial stink. All-too-serious in their sloth, they bolt the horizon and bar the sky.
From your precarious perch, you watch oil-mongers feast. You watch the world-conqueror’s gorge, whispering to each other: “conquer, control, destroy, repeat,” as the world bleeds and dies at their feet.
You watch them shove, elbow, and press up against each other like cannibalistic sardines, cramming roe into can’t-shut-the-fuck-up mouths. And oh, the O-shape of their horribly overindulgent mouths, over-eating, gormandizing, glutting and gutting the world like a flayed fish flopping around on the dark table of Father Capitalism, while Mother Civilization is being kept alive by all sorts of life-support machines, with her crimson-red murderer’s mouth raping the virginity of the earth.
They say we’re born to be consumers. They say you should just fall into line. And yet their toys flash a false fire: nothing more than improved means to unimproved ends.
You see Plato’s words blazing like red letters tattooed to your retinas: “Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses.” But you don’t care. Something’s got to give!
You are everywhere surrounded by puppets, patriots, and sycophants boiling like cow-eyed frogs in an unhealthy cultural soup. Their master is each other, perpetuating the inside-looking-out confabulation of tyranny disguised as freedom, naïve and kowtowing to the next peer-pressure masturbation, en masse; the next material-fix.
They are drugged commercial-narcissi wearing suits and snorting gas through star-spangled straws while the rest of the world shrinks into dried-out wastelands. They have forgotten what it truly means to be courageous.
Born, as they were, into a prescribed-state, a state of hand-me-down ideals and spoon-fed ideologies lacking in any depth. They have forgotten that courage means transforming fear into love.
They are prisoners padding their jail cells. Born and raised in captivity, only a few of them can even see their prison bars. Like the row upon row of crouched figures in Plato’s Cave, they’re simply unable to see the shadows for what they really are.
But you can see, can’t you? You old trickster, you…
You see how they have been left behind by nature. Or rather, how they’ve unwittingly and mistakenly left nature behind. Their unsustainable culture, the culture of the inert, is a giant nostalgia of disconnect, a gross system of empty sentimentality, where nothing really happens except hollow reminiscence and cheap entertainment meant to lull everyone into a false sense of security.
But they are not secure. Not at all. They are floundering in the abyss of a collective inhumanity, grasping for meaning in a culture that just wants to entertain and consume itself to no end.
Their culture doesn’t offer a meaning to life. Rather, it chases the questions about life’s meaning out of the mind through over-consumption. There is no place to reflect on the sense, or even nonsense, of things.
They’ve been denied their connection and the meaning that nourishes them. They have grown small and stunted in the shallow soil of their oppressive culture. It is time to revitalize the ground beneath them. They don’t realize: they can do so much better than empire.
But you do realize, don’t you? You old trickster, you…
Like Alan Watts said, “You’re playing hide and seek with yourself. You’re just passing eternal time with adventure. You forget who you are really. Every now and then You make like you’re just a John Doe or a Mary Smith, or a butterfly, or a worm, or a star and that you’re lost in the middle of a big, big, outside world that isn’t you, that you don’t understand and that you don’t control. Of course! There has to be something else … something other … to bring out the feeling that You are you. And so that You can feel really you, that outside world has to feel really strange, different, weird. You old trickster … deep down inside, You know the whole bit. And therefore, what You want is a surprise. So you have to let things get out of control. You have to feel lost and lonely to know You as you. You play the thing out by inventing lusts and loves, fears and terrors, gnawing anxieties and screaming mee-mee’s… But our secret is… as we say… Tatvamasi… You Are IT. You are running the show, by not letting your right hand know what your left is doing. By making life as a whopping great split between what You DO and what happens to You.”
And so here you are, with your bulging trickster-heart stretched clean around the universe like a giant skin on a giant drum, tapping out the eternal beat of itself, yourself, un-confusing your left hand with your right, and bringing it all back into sacred alignment.
So now your way of taking the world seriously is to disrupt it sincerely and then give it a new form. Like the Heyoka of old, you are prepared to poke holes into all the things they hold sacred. You’re willing to become Taboo itself.
Your each action is a means toward being the change you wish to see in the world. Each dollar given away, each experience stowed, each “buck-stopping-here,” is you in full-frontal deterrence to the one thing that is destroying the world: the anti-nature of men.
But are you capable of cutting the fuse before it’s too late? Will you be able to jump off cliffs before you’ve learned how to fly?
Deep down you know it: “Now” is all we have. Under layer upon layer of fear, curled up like a multifarious onion reeking of cowardice, is an insurmountable courage. Deep down you know this courage is the only thing that will make “now” an adventure.
Beneath all the doubt –psychological, cultural, and cosmic– there is an underlying sense of humor blazing like a fiery beacon of hope. Deep down you know this sacred sense of humor is the only thing that can make “now” tolerable. And deep inside your primordial makeup, propping-up the thousand-and-one faces of God, is the sacred trickster archetype.
Deep down you know that this archetype is the only thing that makes “now” a revelation: a surprising disclosure; a shocking exposure, an eye-opening exposé. You are ready to be surprised, to be staggered and astonished by revelation, by providence. The world is ready. It’s time to show it your true colors: the glorious hue of your Trickster Apocalypse bursting like fireworks over the stagnant and ordinary. Stop playing like you’re not God.
The universe is unfolding itself and revealing her secrets. She is whispering to you in a language older than words: “You’ll reap no evolution if you don’t sow a little revolution.”
Alan Watts quote
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