I cannot navigate my course by the counsel of other people.
When I had the audacity to enter the world as a someone, to dare to speak and make myself known and join the cacophony of the human choir in some barely perceivable way to be recognized, I inevitably found both lovers and haters on my arms.
In one ear I have followers, friends and well-wishers who cheer me on with sweet applause and ego-strokes. I feel their words affecting those functions inside me that are trained to be titillated by such caresses; a connection of the praise with my sense of identity, the tickle of my ego’s cock causing it to course with excitation and swell with pride.
As beautiful, as loving, as kind or heartfelt;- It is archetypically the lure song that invites hubris, the dangerous lull of the sirens around one that invite a dangerous over-inflation, a trip and then a fall. But such songs sung to one are among the most beautiful and sensual songs of the human race. It is a difficult task not to want to go toward such songs and lose oneself in the high of erotic adulation.
And in the other ear – echoes the vitriolic detestation of the hangmen, whose cutting words and savageries of my character spew forth with anger and manifest as belittlement by assembled crowds who hold my name in stocks and throw rotting vegetables and sharp stones as hard as they can to dent my flesh and scour my soul, my works, my memory, my name from the earth. To cut my influence out of their beloved shapes.
When I am in the position of having both love and hate poured down upon me;- how do I orient my compass? Do I appeal to ethics, morals, beliefs, egoism? I’ve been on this journey a long time with many different travelling companions and have tried many kinds of adjustment to please, to fit in, to appease, to steer or even build an entirely new ship together.
And with both loving and hateful comments on my steering of my ship – which are valid? If I had one or the other, perhaps it should be easier. Do I listen to the praise and adulation that informs me I am doing a good job and steering the ship correctly – be happy in myself and firm in my beliefs, trusting in the word/perceptions/love of others?
Or do I acknowledge the hate and contempt, the ‘slings and arrows’ that rain down, as being ruthless truths, as revealing admonishments that I was a terrible captain who has caused the vessel to run aground and crack its hull;- should I be dissatisfied with myself and doubtful of my conduct, course and beliefs, trusting in the word/perceptions/hate of others?
When the ego is no longer the filter – when acceptance is no longer a consideration or desire – praise does not help me to decide if something I have done is good in their eyes or intrinsically good, and hate does not help me to decide if something I have done is bad in their eyes or intrinsically bad.
One force wants to tear me down, the other wants to raise me up;- to which one do I listen?
Generally those lifted up by others as Something are lifted up by allowing their ego to be strengthened through praise and coming to identify with the pedestal upon which they are placed.
They find fulfilment and reward in listening to and believing the good things and encouragement given to them. It is the fuel by which an ego is raised higher than the common man to play some role, be something to someone.
Most people will seek praise and do what they can to garner the respect and adoration of their peers by doing what is expected of them by those peers – and in the same breath do what they can to avoid being punished, shunned or shamed by those peers.
When the ego is the active filter, seeking reward and avoiding punishment is all that is required, it means only the sacrifice of individuality for the greater needs of the many, an abandonment of personal integrity. To allow others to grab your wheel and steer. Being someone means allowing oneself to be invested with authority or power or some archetypal resonance; inflated out of proportion via praise until they believe the hype, overstep their mark, insult their followers and adorers thus becoming a victim of hubris, and inevitably fall.
And contrawise those who are torn down let the stones thrown crush their spirit, identifying with the cruel things said of them, believe they are a failure, a scourge, entombing them in doubt and shame. They care so much about the impressions of others, what people think, what people say, that they seek to be loved even at the risk of mediocrity making great concessions to their personality to be accepted.
Why did I listen to what others have to say? And that I don’t care what they have to say about me, or care anymore about how they see my work, and shun acceptance from their tribes, does this affect the process of the archetypal crucible?
Why did I – and by I, I mean any who are in the ‘twixt of such weird fortunes as to be either loved or hated by the two sides of that one fickle emotion, passion – care? Was I too stupid to realise this perennial game never ends well and that pleasing the People has been a challenge every human has failed to achieve? How did I remain blind so long to the superficial comedy of it all? How did I entertain my Love for humanity for so long in the face of the obvious?
I was archetypically invested with some role and projected upon to fill in the gaps of who I am, what I look like, what I have done, what I represent in the absence of clear definition – and created differently in each of the minds of these Others who brought me forth on their own curious stages and treated as somehow special and representative of something or a scourge and a cancer of something – but either way something. Someone with something who needs to be steered to their advantages. And, that I have decided not to play ball with these others, those who like me, or hate me, is this too hubris? Am I to be thrown down for attempting to subvert the course of the God’s? Is the irony that I will offend my friends as much as my enemies by saying that I simply do not need or desire to hear them anymore? Neither good things or bad things?
If I were to try to please both and set a course for middle ground – I could allow the ego to draw strength from the praise to bolster the confidence to be what was required – and yet be watchful of hubris by identifying with and accepting the savage cuts others attempt to make to my pride, reputation and sense of purpose – from others who are not me, but think it is their place to guide me. To tell me what to be, how to be it, how to act, and what to champion. Who say they are disappointed I have not become what they wanted, could not be the idol they so desire for worship.
If I could juggle the advice of the different sides and take the balance, somehow chart a course that favoured both of them, I might adjust myself to perform actions and doings that fit in with what they want me to be, what they wish to see. I could abandon myself to their fickle whims, go along with their currents, twist myself into the shapes that please them, to appease them – as the majority of my journey I have indeed tried to do. A thankless tiresome drudge I assure.
Or If – I did listen to one above the other, and steer my ship along their designated course to please them, to side with their course, what then?
To change shape once, is to be expected to twist into the contours they imagine however insane or uncomfortable, to lose what I am, among the need to bend to their wills and let their hands mould my clay. And when one day I grew tired of their capricious demands and resisted, when I did not allow them to drape me in their finery so as to resemble their God? Stones. Arrows. Holocaust. Stones just beneath the surface.
But by choosing to try and steer by the directions of others, I merely anger those others who supported a particular course, who then turn away from me and shift from an adoring crowd into bitter detractors, jilted lovers who believe I have abandoned them, failed them, cheated them. Or who lay down their spears and cruel jibes for I have submitted to their demands, they have cowed me, won me, forced me to abandon who I am for who they want me to be. Lovers become Haters, and Haters become Lovers like a changing tide, and all on the back of Forms.
To stand tall or even mildly appear less short, among humans is a dangerous endeavour. I cannot please both, and if I have, it was only for a short time before timeless forces crept back in, hammering at my hapless idol they had each hewn of stone with fists of hatred or love.
And should I side with pleasing one or the other, or try to please both, the end result is the same. Those forces that raise and lower, encourage and condemn, exist no matter who we are and wherever in time we are born – and whatever we may say. It is inevitable that some asshole and some sweetheart, will always exist to support and strangle. And I have learned that neither one is useful in determining the intrinsic worth of a life’s work.
What do humans despise more than someone different? Someone the same. And to what advantage all of this nonsense, trying to ride this writhing sea of hands so ready to support and tear apart the body at any given moment depending on the course of the ship?
What security, what stability, what purpose to trying to remain an idol that never changes or always changes in accordance to the wild whims of other people?
Why rise up with a voice, at all? Why not just join the throngs worshipping and demonizing Gods at various mounts and be part of the vicious unthinking sea who sends gentle lapping and monstrous tsunamis at the feet of others in equal measure? Why exist as a personality? Why separate from the herd?
And what of the irony? The blinding idiocy? They hold me up or hold me down – and those that do either only support the very nature of my work, vindicate the glimmerings sensed of the power of force and form embodied in certain someones and somethings that people use to their own advantages, their love and hate emerges from the primal need to control the Story and its characters, to guide, and to change how others see me for own personal advantage and agenda. This is what causes the violence on the subjective stage believed objective where only one idol may stand at a time and the schismed throngs fight to each have their mad idol on it.
What I have done to others, others do to me, without the sagacity to see the pattern, the irony, the comedy, the majesty, the alchemy.
To navigate a course, to orient my way in the world, to be who I am and do what I do until the sun goes down or I arrive at my destination: this is my ship. And such is perhaps hubris, for what God created God can destroy, and a someone is always believed to be owned by the others.
To navigate a course, I believe in neither force. Listen to neither force. Am swayed by neither force. I am my own force or I am Nothing. Other people know nothing. They feel they are entitled to a say but what entitles them?
I listen only to the Inhuman, the raw voice of THEM, to my voice. For praise is a shiny bauble of poison and hatred is clumsily disguised love – one is the other. For we who are raised up or razed down are but the latest character in an ancient archetypal story demanding heroes, villains, redeemers and sacrifice, as necessary pieces on a board for debate between the divided opinions of those who make them and break them according to their need and needlessness. The phantoms of an entirely mad populace.
The whole story is -traditionally- beyond our control – it is unconsciously acted out by puppets of nature through human farce and comedy, taken drastically seriously in its event but soon has its edges and immediacy dulled – a tale told and retold and each time remembered and forgotten differently or entirely.
It is supposed to play out beyond recognition as unconscious powers and forces that control the story and the humans in it the way it always has, the gods of force and form shifting power, charging one monument and then another as the appropriate God. It is the lot of someone’s to be loved and listened to and then torn apart or replaced through the tragic short-sightedness and zealotry of human actors of opposing sides who forever seek new idols as their tastes change, their age demands, their spiritual abyss craves. For the someone’s forget they are actually no’ones and that it is a twisted eldritch game of the Gods, played out across the world of men since time immemorial. And the People get frustrated trying to remake their God into new shapes, all shapes, impossible shapes: angry and vexed that their Idol no longer attains, resembles, represents, their ideals of perfection.
I am not supposed to be conscious of this process. The magic, the illusions, the rawness of it all is not supposed to be pointed out to others either. It is a secret game we are meant to play in the dark, the someone’s quietly pretending not to be no’ones that the no’ones have draped in masks and status, and the inevitable march up the mountain to be king for day, before being burned as a witch the next.
To refuse to entertain the game, to reject both the love and hate of the no’ones, to not be the role of the someone, and refuse to rejoin the no’ones, what is this? It is to draw back a curtain forbidden to touch and reveal a scene that is so bizarre it confuses and startles.
To be One of THEM means moving away from the human. To forget them. To eat them. To embrace that alien voice of THEM that grows louder day by day.
I am navigating my own course to the Stars. Anything else is Hollow.