Self-construction as incarceration
Self-deconstruction as liberation
Readers of my blog know well by now my thesis that the conspicuous-consumption-driven-subservient-puppet-worker-voter society that has been engineered for us relies on our obsession with identity-construction.
I am, I own, I like, (drive, wear, eat, listen too), and with increasing frequency “I am outraged by” are the building blocks of the ego-construct (aka I, me, insert name, nationality, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, political party choice (usually one of two), favourite brand of blue jeans, mobile phone and operating system preferences here).
Identity-construction, by design, is the raison d’être of good citizens of Western culture because obsession with engineering and embellishing a desirable and validated self-construct is what keeps us shopping, working, worshipping, warring, voting and obeying.
The problem with all this is that smart people have know for millennia that serving the delusion that the self is something real and not something compiled of arbitrary delineations is in truth a recipe for a perpetual cycle of toil and disappointment.
Cutting to the chase, cessation of self-construction — usually via meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. Please indulge me as I share, yet again, a diagram I have created to show my take on why this is.
My serial fiction, the Andy Crowley Saga, is built on this concept of the arbitrariness of reality as defined by ego. I often wonder why I came up with this and have speculated that I am not alone in the pursuit of the new mysticism.
I offer that, for me anyway, my mystical journey is a kind of convulsive reaction to witnessing and acknowledging the now certain fact that Western culture and its self-construction-obsession-fuelled consumption-driven aristocracy has run out of road.
I feel strongly that we are in the early days of a cultural revolution that embraces ancient mystical perspectives to replace the hyper-quantifying, hyper-delineating, reductionist experiment that has brought us to the brink of ecological, economic and social ruin.
As someone who was born between the same arbitrarily delineated lines on a map (Canada) as Jim Carrey, I know his work well. As a mystic, I have watched his personal transformation in recent years with vested interest.
After watching “Jim and Andy” on Netflix last night, I am only more convinced than ever that Jim Carrey have ventured far down the road of the same kind of ego-obliteration that Buddhism, Taoism, Sufism, Hermeticism, and many other esoteric and mystic traditions have long proposed constitutes awakening, enlightenment, salvation, grace — whatever you want to call it.
I get where Jim Carrey is going — and where Andy Kaufman had gone before him. I think he is on to something. I also get why the majority of people will think he has gone crazy. Not everyone can go or get there.
They’ll say, “poor guy, he’s lost his mind.” But they’ll also say, “Lucky guy, he’s lost his mind!”
Guitarist, Steve Vai, and others are now openly speaking of similar things, and meditation (even if it is still far too often wrapped in fanatical scientism to sell it) is being embraced by more and more people. These are just hints of something bigger I think.
I like to think that at the end of economic growth as we cross the peak from an economy of abundance to an economy of scarcity, we are finally acknowledging — perhaps out of necessity — the most fundamental truth of all: that all things are really just one thing.
Maybe here, beyond the reductionist era of selfishness, in the early days of the mystical era of selflessness, “we’re all in this together” has ceased to be something we just say. Maybe, in accordance with ancient beliefs long withheld from popular knowledge, it is finally becoming something we embrace completely.
Check out Jim and Andy on Netflix. For some it will inspire you to continue upon an ancient path that seems like something new. For others, it will be a good place to start asking the questions that lead to liberation from a system that fosters the misperception of wisdom as crazy.