This is an open letter to all the pompous fools in the Heathen and occult scenes who insist on clogging the airwaves with fatuous rubbish, thus preventing themselves and everyone else from benefiting from the riches of these worlds.
2,500 years ago Socrates established that he was the wisest man in Athens. How did he know? Because whereas everyone else claimed to have some knowledge of the world – yet in the face of his questions proved to be thoroughly confused and ignorant – Socrates made no such claims. He might have only known one thing – his own lack of knowledge – but this modest achievement was nevertheless more than anything that anyone else had managed.
Nothing has changed in 2,500 years. People insist on spouting off on all manner of subjects they are utterly ignorant about. You can pretty much apply the following formula: as stridence and certainty increases, intelligence and knowledge decreases.
For example currently doing the rounds of the Heathen presence on Facebook is a healthy done of Islamophobia. How can people whose religion suffered near destruction at the hands of religious intolerance proceed to adopt exactly the same kind of intolerance?! Invariably the characters involved reveal their utter ignorance of Islam as a historical, cultural, or religious force. If this is really such an evil religion, how come hundreds of millions of Muslims all over the world manage to live perfectly peaceful, sedate lives? Are you really telling me that it wasn’t ok for the Christians to burn down the Heathen groves and temples, but that it is ok for you to want to burn copies of the Koran?
Of course any major organised religion, Islam included, is riddled with tremendous flaws, but that isn’t the point I’m debating here. The point is that these sorts of ignorant people, by indulging in shallow stereotypes and self-congratulatory hubris, have found a fantastic way to make themselves feel elite without having to lift a single finger or make the slightest effort. In fact, the more stupid, shallow, and pathetic they make themselves, the more elite they feel. What a perversely brilliant achievement.
On the other hand there are the spiritual demagogues who claim to be elitists, to be above the herd. Jung dismissed such silliness as an “inflation” – the sign of an ego that doesn’t have the maturity to handle cosmic forces. Invariably, however, such characters are of staggeringly modest achievements. Scratching at the fringes of society, looking over the threshold with envious resentment, these characters tend to become pickled in their own vile spite.
Or worse, they manage to fool enough hangers on that they get a reputation as some kind of guru. Their modest abilities and powers are diverted almost entirely into grandstanding, self-promotion, and self-congratulation. Either way, it’s an easy way to make yourself feel elite without having to make any kind of real effort…let alone actually be elite.
Well, to all these sorts of people, I am here to say: You Are Not Elite.
Want to know how I know? Cause the truly elite people don’t need to project all their hatred and fear onto an absent Other in a welter of hypocrisy and wilful ignorance. Cause the truly elite people don’t go on and on about how wonderful they are, don’t complain about how the world is out to get them, and don’t bother trying to attract slavish followers.
So the next time you feel the slightest bit of a delusion of bigotry or grandeur coming on, I invite you to reflect on the following examples of what “elite” actually means.
Carl Jung had a major hand in inventing modern psychotherapy. He healed thousands of lives personally, and maybe millions through his art and writing. He wrote 20+ HUGE volumes of earth-shatteringly profound writing, and was an insanely gifted painter. He opened the modern world to the question of spiritual life amid the mechanised horrors of two world wars. Carl Jung was elite.
Milton Erickson overcame the paralysis of childhood polio to become one of the most important figures in the history of psychiatry. Resurrecting hypnosis from the junk yard of stage show chicanery, he pioneered therapeutic techniques of such power, humanity, and sheer joy that it is hard to imagine his equal. Erickson could cure stroke-induced paralysis with a few minutes of (very intense) conversation. He could, while giving a speech, hypnotise just one person in the audience and give them a post-hypnotic suggestion and no one else in the room would even know. Erickson’s work and writing has transformed and healed potentially millions of lives, not least because other cool stuff like NLP evolved from his work. Milton Erickson was elite.
Beethoven composed the Ode to Joy when he was stone deaf. Carl Lewis won eight Olympic gold medals. Mozart wrote more music in his scant decades than most people could in a thousand lifetimes. Eugen Sandow was so strong he could wrap himself in chains and then shatter them just by flexing his torso. And 2,500 years later Socrates’ afore-mentioned analysis of the human predicament is still 100% accurate.
Get the picture? Unless you have these kinds of personal, professional, artistic, and spiritual accomplishments under your belt to back up your talk, you are not elite. You are just gas bagging. And the more empty bullsh*t you spout in the public spaces of the spiritual communities you inhabit, the more you prevent the actual magic and beauty of this vast and brilliant cosmos from manifesting in those communities, thus utterly defeating their purpose.
I am not elite either. But I am like Socrates: I know that I am not elite, and therefore instead of resting on self-satisfied, idiotic laurels, I strive to improve myself. Everything I do, whether I succeed or not, is aimed towards healing, growing, evolving, creating. I am no “better” than the morons I am here criticising: I will fall vastly short of the example of people like Jung or Erickson. And yet by acknowledging my limitations I will fly so much higher, humbly inspired by their example.
The next time you feel tempted to ignorantly attack an absent, excluded Other; or puff yourself up with a lot of victim talk or arrogant strutting, please instead come and read this little article. Think about what the people you admire (really admire, not just sort of admire) did with their lives.
And never forget: you are not elite. Keep that in mind and you, ironically, might give yourself a better chance of becoming so.