One of my duties as a periphery keeper in this world is to penetrate deception, turn over rocks, awaken people to concealed truths, and to create deep awareness. I say, instead of trying to possess Truth; let yourself be possessed by it. So it goes: I am not a victim of the world, Iam the world. But that wasn’t always the case. I used to work for the NSA via the US Navy as a cryptoanalyst. Yes, I was naïve. I, like many innocent sailors, soldiers, airmen, and marines, was duped into believing that I was honorably fighting and spying to protect the lives of the innocent people of the world. I was wrong. I was bamboozled. We were bamboozled. That was all just doublespeak. We were actually there to fight and spy on behalf of an immoral plutocratic corporate regime that is still in power today. We were there to be pawns in a giant game of chess over oil and power. We were conditioned cogs in an immoral clock of systematic propaganda and unethical orders. They used fear tactics to keep us paranoid. They used false titles and fake rank to play upon our passions. They used those same false titles to play upon our pride, by giving us empty ribbons, flashy medals of nothing, and rank that meant nothing more than that you were a good little obedient sheep to an immoral juggernaut of well-deceived men. Well screw that! War is not peace. Ignorance is not strength. Freedom is not slavery.
“If you would be a real seeker after truth,” wrote Rene Descartes, “it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.” And so I did exactly that. I decided to undeceive myself, using a ruthless self-interrogation process and a humor of the most high to reveal the truth hidden behind the smoke and mirrors of mass deception. What I learned rocked my world, as it has many others. But my liberation was my salvation. The pain that came from knowledge was exceptionally more rewarding than the bliss that came from ignorance. My fall was profound, but when I hit the ground, I relearned how to fall in love. Like Sogyal Rinpoche said, “Each time the losses and deceptions of life teach us about impermanence, they bring us closer to the truth. When you fall from a great height, there is only one possible place to land: on the ground — the ground of truth. And if you have the understanding that comes from spiritual practice, then falling is in no way a disaster, but the discovery of an inner refuge.”
The only way that deception is moral is through the artistic process. Like Marco Tempest said, “Art is a deception that creates real emotions — a lie that creates a truth. And when you give yourself over to that deception, it becomes magic.” We need more of this magic, especially in a world more and more devoid of magic. It is magic precisely because it transforms deception into truth, and so has the power to transform psychopaths into empaths, by planting seeds like tiny, packaged beacons of hope.
Whether it is Charlie Hebdo comic strips or articles like this one, art can literally change the world. Our audacious art is like swordplay in the brain, proving that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. With it we can cut the yoke of deception that has been passed down from an unethical power structure made up of psychopathic men hell-bent on maintaining their power to the extent that it is destroying the world.
Like Arno Gruen said, “No matter how much lip service those committed to power (psychopaths) may pay to the principle of equality (empaths), they can never approach their fellow human beings on an equal footing; their relationships with others are defined solely in terms of power and weakness. Therefore, they must accumulate as much power as possible, with the aim of becoming invulnerable and proving this invulnerability.” It is the duty of artistic empaths the world over to meet this false invulnerability with the truer power of absolute vulnerability, and art will be our vehicle. Courage is not being invulnerable, like a machine. Courage is not an unwavering hardness, like a tank. It is a soft plasticity, like water. I beseech you, you who would dare greatly, look not for what’s solid within you, look instead for what is soft and malleable. The courage will come. Like Bruce Lee pouring water in and out of a cup, saying “Be water, my friend,” your softness will take shape and assume the form of empathy which has the power to crush all forms of psychopathology, and its shape will be an adventure of the most high.
People often ask me, baffled, “Why do you go against the laws of men?” And I say to them, “Because your swords will never be as sharp as my pen.”