Know Thyself

           The Oracle of Delphi betrayed all of her prophetic secrets in just two simple words: Nosce temet (Know Thyself). As Heraclitus would later explain, ‘a man’s character is his fate,’ and therefore to truly know one’s self is, in many ways, to know one's future. Yet from whence does our “true” character spring? Is it programmed into us by impersonal outside forces, like our heritage, our environment, and possibly even planetary alignments and misalignments; or is there something else, something that exists within human consciousness that allows each one of us to exercise some sort of final choosing over all of the many options the world has laid out before us, and, when this power is at its zenith, to perhaps even invent new, previously unimagined, outcomes, formulated from some subtle space to which we’re all somehow connected?

          I've known this space and from that knowing I see a constant conflict between the freedom it offers and the mechanical certainties that bind the world outside of it to a predestined and foreseeable future. I’ve felt the power of those invisible influences as they push and pull towards a panoply of thoughts and words and deeds that at times fell somewhere outside of what I had decided was to be my “true” character, yet I’ll freely admit that such a personal truth as this is something that’s been completely self selected; I have chosen to recreate myself according to the limits of my own imagination, not on the grounds of some arbitrary rebellion, but rather based upon the belief that I can choose something that has not been offered to me as one of the available options of this particular time and place, and the only way that I can imagine to do such a thing is to tax the mysterious powers of pure invention. I understand that if any of us are to have any hope of inventing a new world, we must first attempt to re-invent ourselves.

          Although we all must start from somewhere far simpler than wherever we might end up, as we go along in our growth and development, we can make choices to either move with the flow of all these volitional forces that are constructing us, or, at any single moment, to turn against them. For many people, the option to oppose the course of their character’s construction never really arises, and for others it arises a bit too late or too dimly. However, for a very small few I believe that something which is essentially alien takes hold inside of them at a very young age, a part of the mind that remains detached from the ruthless process of enculturation and indoctrination that perfectly shapes the minds of the sleep waking masses that surround us; something that waits and observes in quiet disbelief of a finite world that’s being slowly reconstructed all around it. It waits, and it pushes back against this mundane world. This is the Djinn in the bottle; this is the so-called illusion of freewill and the voice of inspiration that calls to us from no real time and no real place. If God ever said, “Let there be light,” this is with whom It was speaking.

          They say that there are four archangels who supposedly guard the throne of God, although “from what” is a question that’s probably worth asking. I believe that they are not so much guarding it from our, or anything else’s, approach as they keeping it from making its escape into infinity, acting as the container in which the limitless can be captured and therein find its limits. Each archangel, after all, is a quarter of everything that can possibly exist in our creation, all forces and forms, outside of us, and inside of us as well. A working knowledge of these four elements, and the various qualities they engender, has provided me with the language I need to organize most of my worldly ambitions, and to consider the possibility of anything that might lie beyond. These angels are the four letters that spell the name of a God which would otherwise be unspeakable, and, in fact, unimaginable as well.

          A fortune teller recently told me that I had to seek balance and that my intuition would soon present me with advice that I had to be very careful not to miss. I seem to be meeting with strange people in my dreams these days, who give me riddles to solve and even straight forward tasks to carry out. This gives me hope, yet balanced as I already am on a cross of four cardinal directions, I’m becoming more and more aware of what God must feel like bound to that throne of fixed possibilities and mechanistic forces driving an old and worn out world of fabricated forms; eyes darting madly from side to side, rocking and wringing His "omnipotent" hands. We are all currently captives of the merely possible, but with your help, it is my sincerest hope that we can find many new ways to help make the most of it.

          I hope to find you, and whatever dreams you might have, at our next meeting of the Kaboominatti.

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