“Danger: real probability of the awakening of terror and dread, from which there will be no turning back.” –Ernest Becker
Caveat lector: reader beware!
To be or not to be, is that not the essential question? Or maybe it’s: to become or not to become. Or perhaps Carl Sandberg’s question, “Have I, have you, been too silent? Is there an easy crime of silence?”
Either way, this article will change you. My advice to you, here at the outset, is to ask yourself: am I courageous enough to change. If the answer is “no,” then stop reading. If the answer is “yes,” then take everything you’ve been conditioned, brainwashed and spoon-fed into believing and toss it out the window, along with the baby and the bathwater. Let defenestration become you. Then, extract from your veins the culturally-prescribed IV drip (or TV drip) that has been pumping close-minded diatribes and pithy platitudes into your system for the better part of your life. It is time to replace “their way” with “your way.”
When I say this article will change you, I mean it. I mean it in the way that Alice was fragmented by falling into the looking-glass. Or the way Dante was deconstructed in his descent through hell. I mean it in the way a caterpillar changes into a butterfly while gestating in its cocoon. Or the way a galaxy is transformed at the precipice of a black hole.
Consider this article your personal Event Horizon; your self-inflicted coup de tat; your very own existential crisis, complete with soul tatters and death-dragged umbilicus. It is the existential grindstone, the Hook of Descent, your Soul’s primordial howl. If you are not ready to replace “their way” with “your way” and if you are not ready to question yourself, others, the universe, and especially God, then you are not ready for this article. Just stop reading. This simply isn’t your “cup o’ tea.” It’s not because you are weak. It’s because you’re too comfortable. It’s because you would rather the bliss that comes from ignorance than the pain that comes from knowledge. And that’s okay. At least you can admit it. So just walk away with your little ego intact and comfortable in its culturally-conditioned comfort zone. No worries. No one will blame you. And you won’t be the first to turn the proverbial cheek.
Listen! You have from this moment until the day you die to live the life you want to live; to do exactly what it is you love, whatever that is. This article is a wake-up call; a call to adventure; a kick in your too-comfortable ass. This article is the world begging you to discover your own authentic vocation so that you can gift it back to the world. The world needs you to be mature in the current apocalypse. And I don’t mean maturity in the sense of practical-work or societal-responsibilities. I mean it in the tacit, prescient, vast and visceral sense: the poise that comes from balancing nature with the human soul; from salving the psyche/nature split. Like Terence McKenna said,
“The apocalypse is not something which is coming. The apocalypse has arrived in major portions of the planet, and it’s only because we live within a bubble of incredible privilege and social insulation that we still have the luxury of anticipating the apocalypse.”
Like with all beginnings there comes an ending. And this journey will be no different; opening up a new chapter means closing the old. What the previous chapter was doesn’t matter. And it doesn’t matter what your age is. Nor does it matter your education, or sense of sophistication. It is all pretense and makeup anyway. What matters is that you are changing. This article is transforming you. You are ready to emerge from your hand-me-down lifestyle into a take-the-bull-by-the-horns lifestyle.
It’s time to say goodbye to the comfortable womb. If you’ve read this far, then you’ve grown past it anyway. That womb is splitting open. Your security blanket is being ripped to shreds. You are ready to fall into your calling; into a journey of the most high. You have no wings; you have no halo; you have no holier-than-thou perfection. You are equipped only with a clumsy body and a magnificent brain, and a heart that beats a-patter against an unquenchable darkness.
The good news is: this is all you need. The bad news is: it may not be enough. But the beauty is: there is so much more to you than you currently realize. Have courage little phoenix. Look the New-dawn in the eye. Climb atop the mountain of your sloth and vacillation and declare yourself to the universe. Step foot onto the path that will turn “their way” into “your way.” Your own personal philosophy is ready to emerge. Your own unique gift to the world is ready to be gift-wrapped. The map that guides one person loses another. There is no recipe for growth that suits all cases. Each of us carries our own life-map, which cannot be supplanted by any other. You are now ready to read your own map, and you are ready to read it aloud to others.
Listen! The wolves are calling. The gods are howling. The demons are buckling in the abyss. It is time to take your first step into your new calling. Move along with your courage. Go forth and be reborn. “Surely,” as the poet Yeats perceived, “some revelation is at hand.”
About the Author
Gary ‘Z’ McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.
This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.
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