Stranger Than Kubrick
By way of introduction and in light of this week’s stunning revelations from Sibel Edmonds, John Doe#2 and former French President Jacques Chirac, I need to preface my comments for this week’s haircut by assuring the reader that I have never once found it necessary to suggest that I receive my “inspiration” for my sometimes violent, often insane behavior from an Almighty God, the Devil, the AntiChrist or any other foil designed to deflect my personal responsibility for my actions. Not since 1991, anyway. That would be the year I received my first “license” to offer coiffs to anyone in the general public who desired a trim above their ears.
Some readers, however, may deem it necessary to label me as one of the above because to those who inhabit a dishonest world, the truth-teller is pre-sage, sage and a god-damned liar all at once. Call me the Antichrist if you must, labels matter not. What matters most is that we begin to unwind our pre-programmed need and compulsion for a massive physical upheaval, and, instead, begin to focus on our rapidly approaching need for a spiritual one. No requirement exists for a completely shaven head, especially when a trim will do; but a good trim can massively disassemble and reassemble the internal workings of a human being in desperate search for relief from insanity seemingly imposed from above or beyond their personal control.
Massive spiritual upheavals require, first and foremost, rigorous honesty of a kind which the reader may not be accustomed. This statement is more obvious than it seems for if we were as honest as we needed to be in the first place, there would be no requirement, nor any desire, for any upheaval of any kind. Truth being the simple, yet massive, artiface that it is, only requires that we look honestly at what we think we see and compare it to the sometimes massive dishonesties with which we have become far too comfortable living around, sometimes living with. Enter, then, the basis of every good haircut – a confrontation and understanding of what makes for both poor clothing selections as well as bad haircuts. Enter, the Big Lie.
Adolf Hitler could not have made his rise to power a success without the use of the Big Lie. Nor could the Federal Reserve. Nor could capitalism, communism, socialism, Catholicism, Protestantism, consumerism, atheism, agnosticism, materialism or many other “isms”. All of these concepts, and more, require the deft implementation of the Big Lie in order for the ideas represented by each of these concepts to embed themselves into our conscious, waking lives.
The Big Lie is as much a lifestyle as it is a technique since, in order for the Big Lie to work its blackest black magic, one has to truly believe that they understand how the Big Lie works and that they, and only their truest, most loyal friends, understand how it can be applied to advantage them in their lives. The Big Lie may lie to you and me – that is the evidence of its success – but its patrons believe that the Big Lie never lies to them. The Big Lie demands loyalty among friends, so if anyone in the inner clique were to begin to see the Big Lie for what it has never said that it is, that individual must be immediately expelled from the clique. Only the Keepers of the Big Lie can be trusted.
Which, of course, is also a Big Lie.
What is the Big Lie at its core but the belief that anything other than the truth of the matter has any relevant existence at all. Nothing matters, very literally, in the lifestyle of the Big Lie because “nothing” is the very substance of which the Big Lie is composed. The Big Lie is, and yet in every relevant sense, it is not.
The essence of the Big Lie is not its power because it can have none. Rather, all the power the Big Lie has comes from you and me and our conjoint willingness to believe that nothing, absolutely nothing at all, can be worth more than everything we already have, and have had, since the beginning of time. And I need to suggest, right Now, that time has no real existence because of one very important clue that is common among all the child-concepts of the Big Lie: we never seem to have enough of it. Some of us seem to have none of it. Others seem to be running out of it like sand slipping between their fingers. But no one, absolutely no one, can have too much time – so we do what we can to hoard the Big Lie that is time. More on time. Later. It will astonish you, the nature of all our twisted thinking caused by the Big Lie lifestyle.
And what is money but the clever attempt to steal and hoard time from one’s fellows that we might use it at some later date? All Big Lies are related in some way to each other because each shares the same form, but each has no real existence outside of our willingness to believe that each Big Lie is real and, therefore, true, relevant and substantial.
Our willingness to believe in ANY Big Lie is an open invitation for any one of us to believe in any other Big Lie, hence the development of a way of living – a lifestyle – of the Big Lie. Anyone over the age of forty-five can remember a time when the Sunday morning talkshows placed men and women of substance on television or radio who actually tried to resist putting on display their secret worship at the altar of the Big Lie. Now we can see, over a period of time, that those put on display for all to see on Sunday morning television have lost all pretense concerning their embrace of the Big Lie. Most are quite open about it, many actually revel in it. Becoming aware of this observation, one begins to see personalities like Glenn Beck as infants who, after smearing their face with their own fecal matter, look at their parents and cry, “look at me, look at me!”
The Big Lie keeps us separated from each other because while we all share a willingness to believe in the Big Lie, all of us want to believe that our personal set of Big Lie beliefs is what makes us special – just like everybody else. You might laugh at me because I am different, but I laugh at us because we are all the same. It is at the level of our sameness and similarity where the kernels of truth begin to pop up and challenge the hegemony we have all given to our own set of Big Lies.
Of course, the end result of investing in the Big Lie is the same as if we had taken all of our time and poured it down a very cold, very dark, very deep hole. And therein lies another clue common to all Big Lies: the more time we invest with a Big Lie, the colder, darker and deeper our personal “holes” become. Some folks describe their personal holes as actual, “holes in the center of my chest where the wind blows through.” And why would they not? Being alive and thoughtful means we are, in some sense, children of some modicum of truth and relevance. Our worship of the opposite of truth and its many “altars” can mean only one thing: self hatred, or a fervent desire to be something or someone other than whom we must now, always and forever be. A purer formula for heartache and pain I cannot imagine. Heartache and devastating emotional pain are sure signs that “spiritual bankruptcy” has taken hold of us and shaken us to our knees.
The knees have always been an important part of my spiritual or religious life. While I no longer ascribe to the beliefs of any one organized religion, I do believe that every religion begins with powerful spiritual insight. That one must be driven to their bent knees by life as we misunderstand it before we become actual students of a spiritual or religious path seems a personal, perhaps universal, truism. The insights and revelations pick us up from our knees; our continued belief in the Big Lie drives us right back down. Like a giant screw twisted into the Earth, we go around and around, seeing the same things over and over again. Patience with ourselves and others will reveal that we are coming up and out of the ground over time, even though the monotony of our personal life patterns might cause us not to think so.
Up until the moment of complete befuddlement and willingness, we seem to be forever fixated by the notion that, somehow, our Big Lie will be proven true; as true as our presence as characters in this most profound appearance on Life’s disappearing stage. Your Big Lie is a lie; my Big Lie is true. If this sounds as moronic to you as it sounds to me, congratulations and welcome. If my “personal” version of truth excludes you in any way from my relevant concern – forgetting that you are me and I am you – I am living the life of the Big Lie. How and when your Big Lie unwinds is a personal matter, but the knowledge that it one day will is as certain as your present existence on this planet, right here, right now.
The Big Lie is the Anaconda in the jungle, or the Python that drops from the trees. It’s goal is to strangle and then consume you while still warm. That only a crazy and insane snake would try to consume its own tail reveals the one opening in the lifestyle of the Big Lie through which we can walk toward greater and greater levels of freedom and evolution.
While many of us see the path of virtue as the walk of the saints, it is actually the path of the utterly and completely exhausted. No one wants to be forced to do what they would rather not; we become saints because we have debauched and defiled ourselves to the point where no other path seems viable. At this most profound turning point, we either decide not to choose and end our experience of this life, or we put one foot in front of the other as our old delusions fall from our bodies like a layer of cloak. I have often felt that this layer or that would be my final layer, even coming to the point where I feared for the end of my existence – the proverbial hole at the center of the donut. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Freedom to leave means freedom to stay.
Yes, many of us do love being members of a “team” and everyone on the competing “team” is somehow and in some way less than us, but aside from the “fun” of temporary competition, the belief that there is a possible “master race” or a “privileged class” is a child of the concept of the Big Lie. There do exist other ways of having fun that do not involve separating ourselves out into “winners” and “losers.” If any one of us loses, we all lose – perhaps not in the same “form,” but as should be getting clearer and clearer, “form” does not determine reality or relevance. More evidence that our world is worm-eaten by the ravages of the Big Lie is the belief that form drives content, or, that a book can always be reliably judged by its cover. Content will drive form, but it is just impossible to know, via human perception, what form will be the optimum expression for which content. I have tried, I have believed and I have found my reliance on my personal judgments regarding form to be in error. We all have our preferences and rather than coming up with categories and critiques, I would like to suggest that we would be better served by simply accepting and respecting everyone else’s preferences and apparent individual differences. We are all at least a little insane – living with lies tends to do that to people – so passing judgment on another’s preferences is like criticizing a person in the process of healing. Rejoice that everyone is healing rather than separating out the unfortunate few whose healing process disgusts, annoys or troubles us: there are pretty good odds that their healing process does the same to them, they just don’t realize that fact yet.
Let form go, early and often, in your interactions with those who share your same terminal fate. Focus on content. Not the silverware, not the sacraments…the core beliefs that drive the behavior and, probably, the thinking, of the people you meet and the chemistry we experience. This is the essence of spirituality and the pursuit of truth. This is the unwinding of the coils of the Big Lie. This is the upheaval for which we shave off too much hair in too many places, put ink under our flesh in order to recall and pierce our bodies to remind ourselves where our weakness lies.
The day of Last Judgment is the day when we read these words and recognize a deep part of ourselves within them. It is the day when most all of us realize and recognize that we, alone, cannot successfully judge anything, nor are we truly capable of complete freedom of choice. Every last one of us craves a pursuit of happiness and are driven by whom we really are to align ourselves with a happy pursuit on a path we deem most promising. We have chosen the Big Lie, or one of its many children, and have come up short. We must choose again, asking, instead, to be shown the nature of an honest, open-ended question that our deepest Self might be engaged to provide us with an honest answer.
On a day of seeming fire and brimstone – of buzzing, snipping and razor-sharp knives, our Last Judgment will be made and our reliance on non-existent time will be loosed from its moorings. For time is a device, sometimes helpful when properly applied, but the truth of the matter is that there is only One time and that time is right Now. Always and forever.