“The revolution begins at home. If you overthrow yourself again and again, you might earn the right to overthrow the rest of us.” –Rob Brezsny
The first step to disrupting the disrupters is to accept that you yourself are a disrupter. You were born into a disruptive culture that is extremely unhealthy in the way it disrupts all order of things. It’s not your fault that you were born into this preconditioned state, mind you, but it is your responsibility to recondition this preconditioned state, lest you remain a victim/pawn/lamb/cog in a vicious dog-eat-dog system of poor human governance. Reconditioning the precondition is no easy feat. It requires Promethean courage and Herculean strength. It requires trickster audacity and Dionysian tenacity. It requires Apollonian purpose and Nietzschean creativity. In short: it requires the ability to overthrow yourself again and again so that your power doesn’t become corrupt, all while defying an absolute power that is corrupting absolutely all around you. What follows is a three-step process of revitalization that has the potential to disrupt your own disruption and thus recondition your preconditioning despite the disruptive powers that be.
Step 1, Self-Courage:
“The influence of a vital person vitalizes.” –Joseph Campbell
We become a force to be reckoned with when we transform ourselves from a victim into a hero, from a lamb into a lion, from a robot into an autonomous force of nature, from a pawn into a knight that transcends the chessboard. But how do we do this? How do we invigorate ourselves? How do we break the spell? What we need is a kickstart, a wakeup call, a call to adventure. We need to awaken our inner-herald in order to awaken our inner-shadow/trickster in order to awaken our inner-mentor. In short: we need a self-questioning process that doesn’t let us off the hook, that doesn’t allow us to remain complacent. We must acquire the courage it takes to turn the tables on our own worldview long enough to get some perspective. We need to take a deep introspective breath of fresh air and question ourselves to the nth degree. Indeed, we need to take self-questioning to a whole new level, to a level of ruthlessness that individuates the ego and invigorates the soul: self-interrogation.
Self-interrogation is a dialectic engagement with our Self about how to lead the best possible life. It is a self-vitalizing guide through the screwtape of the Truth/Doubt dichotomy. It helps reorient ourselves with the diversity of the cosmos by leveraging holistic thinking against self-bias. Dogmatism wanes, extremism is dampened, and our comfort zones are stretched to the point where we’re able to become heroes instead of victims, lions instead of lambs, a force of nature instead of a robot, and a knight instead of a pawn, which then encourage others to do the same. Like Einstein said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Indeed, if we can gain the ability to ruthlessly question ourselves, our worldviews, and our place in the greater cosmos, we are more likely to open up to others and to accept that we are, like them, a tiny part of a huge interdependent whole. In the end, our questioning is an opening, an opportunity, a sacred breech, a revelation of the ever-deepening mystery of this cosmos and our place within it.
Step 2, Self-Creation:
“Creativity is the greatest form of rebellion.” –Osho
There is in fact only one way to change the world: change yourself. Self-change comes from self-creation. Healthy self-creation comes from tapping into interdependent Source through proactive independence. After we’ve questioned our worldview down to its roots, it’s time to build a new more flexible sense of self, a more adaptable disposition toward the vicissitudes of life. And there is no process more powerful than the artistic process. Art has a way of shattering molds. Even art created within a mold somehow defies the original mold. And when the self is the canvas, we free ourselves to break as many molds as possible, and the latent capacities that we discover are conceivably endless. Within the creative process, boundless wisdom awaits. It is boundless precisely because of the dissipation of fear and the embracing of vulnerability. Indeed, fearlessness is the core of the creative process.
Art can help us become fearless because when we surrender to the creative process we are surrendering to cosmic forces that transcend fear. If we’re doing our art well, there is no fear. There is no holding back. There is no time to be a miser with our energy. When we are tapped into the overflow, seeing with over-eyes, thinking with no-mind, there is no time to be afraid of fullness because creatively emptying is our salvation. The overflow is like a tidal wave that comes from the Well of Creativity (experience, adventure, reading). It fills us up so we can then filter such energy through the sieve of our own unique soul, transform it therein, and then pour it out into the sacred energy of our art. You want to disrupt the disrupters? Permit yourself to overflow, to use your art as a tactical action plan that can guide us all toward the elusive horizons of collective happiness and sustainability, to build new compasses of creative rebellion that defy outdated currents and streams and enable the circumnavigation through new straits.
Step 3, Self-Purpose:
“Selfishness is not living your life as you wish. It is asking others to live their life as you wish.” –Oscar Wilde
Living on purpose is living with purpose. Don’t live on accident through programming, afraid of disrupting the status quo. Overthrow your programming instead. Be the upsetting factor, a disruptor of programs. In a world built upon unhealthy and unsustainable programming, it behooves us to become deprogrammers of the first order. Our self-courage and our ability to create meaningful art won’t matter if it’s not put to use. Putting it to use is the epitome of living on purpose. And what better way to put it to use than to disrupt stagnant programming and then build new healthier and more sustainable programming? Deprogramming and then reprogramming is the epitome of disrupting the disrupters. Anyone who gets angry because of this “disruption” was too rigid and inflexible with their programming in the first place, which is probably why they became disrupters, and which is all the more reason for disrupters to disrupt them. All we need to do is figure out what needs to change and then help to change it in healthier ways, while also recognizing what cannot be changed and then being able to let it go (healthy detachment).
When we discover self-purpose we discover that we have always had the courage it takes to accept what we can’t change and change what we can’t accept. Self-purpose is the side-effect of a sharpened soul, and a sharpened soul is a double-edged sword that needs something to cut. What it cuts is twofold: it shreds what needs to change and slices away what needs letting go of. On the one side, creating a healthier process requires a shredding of the current unhealthy process. On the other side, creating a healthier process also requires shedding the burden of excess worry and superfluous concerns. The sharpened soul does both with great passion and vigor, leaving an open, mindful place where self-courage and self-creation are free to manifest into self-purpose. Nothing disrupts the disrupters more than an individuated individual with a sharpened soul. Indeed, like Hattori Hanzo said in Kill Bill, “If on your journey, you should encounter God, God will be cut.”
Read more articles from Gary ‘Z’ McGee.
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.
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