Cover Photo: Jonathan and Vexanithor Zap in a triaxially -stressed nuclear-magnetic mirror portal as photographed by a reverse-tomography quantum field camera earlier today.
Way back in the day, long before the dawn of Taoism, I realized that dark was as intrinsic to the cosmos as light, and therefore I allowed my evil twin, Vexanithor Zap, the Annihilator, to play his role without interference while he granted me the same courtesy.
Vex self-identifies as a mono-annihilator (an annihilator that strongly prefers a single particular type as their object of annihilation). Vex’s “type” has always been civilizations that don’t meet his highly subjective and questionable standards for evolutionary development.
But no matter how dark his motives and tactics, I’ve never publicly criticized (until now) Vex’s mono-annihilator orientation and how he chooses to live out that lifestyle.
Roughly six millennia ago, when Vex annihilated a small civilization that may have been somewhat stagnant, but that I thought still had a lot of potential, I held my tongue. I gave Vex the benefit of the doubt—gave the devil his due in other words—and assumed that even the darkest of entities was serving the cosmos in some way.
For eons, we’ve held to our carefully respectful and mutually tolerant truce, but earlier today I discovered that Vex had done something so abhorrent and destructive that I finally had to confront him.
What Vex did —-well, think of the worst thing someone can do and then multiple it by ten, then multiply that by a thousand.
Have you realized what it is yet?
No, it’s much worse than that.
Vex voted for Trump.
This time he had gone too far, and I had to say something.
I sought out Vex in a state of self-righteous anger, using my will and global intuition to wind my way through the many tilting angles of slippery improbabilities and tangled, misdirecting labyrinths of helter-skelter, hyper-dimensional back alleys one needs to navigate to encounter an evil twin.
As usual,Vex looked just like me, or almost just like me. It’s hard to see in most of the side-by-side photos of us, but people say I have about 15% more muscle definition then Vex.
Usually, I try to remain calm and centered when I talk to him (no one can push your buttons like an evil twin), but this time I could not restrain a tone of moral outrage.
“Why did you do it?”
I didn’t need to specify the “it,” because the words we exchange are merely skeletal templates for multiple layers of telepathic insinuation.
Vex replied with perfect equanimity,
“Why do I do anything brother? It’s right there in my name—Vexanithor Zap, The Annihilator, remember? I’m an annihilator, so I annihilate.”
“But America? And possibly all of human civilization? They may still be patriarchal, hegemonic and riddled with predatory capitalist systems, but you can’t call them stagnant, they produce so much novelty!”
“In your humble opinion brother, in your humble opinion brother, in your humble opinion brother…” Vex replied with one of his trade mark, trance-inducing, transtemporal-echo-reverb effects. (The telepathic overlay to this ranged from snarky to devastating, I have to admit.)
“OK fine, whatever. Who am I to second guess your judgment about what civilization to annihilate, but did you have to annihilate it in such a vulgar and humiliating way? For a global civilization to be destroyed by a bloated orange monster clown—it adds so much insult to the injury of annihilation—it makes it look like all of modern civilization is just a big joke and Trump is the fatal punchline!”
“Very well put brother, very well put, I think you are really starting to catch on. But before you bother to retort, you might as well know that I did more than just vote for Trump, I created him.”
“You . . .”
“You did what?!!!!!”
“I created Trump. No, I don’t mean that I literally gave birth to the deformed human within Trump, I gave birth to something far more powerful–-the shell—the persona Trump. I just picked a deformed, well-placed boy who was going to become one sort of sociopathic malignant narcissist or another, and I did a bit of dream seeding, some mind pressure, coincidence meddling and . . . well, you know my little bag of tricks.”
“Don’t give me that look Jonathan— like you just found an oily spider on the artisanal, coconut milk-foam of your rose-petal chai latte or whatever they are drinking in Boulder these days. I had to do it. I don’t know about you brother, but somewhere around the time I passed my eighth-billion ecliptic cycle, I realized that there are limits to even my annihilation abilities. Sure, I can still annihilate small, pre-super-technology civilizations in my sleep. But what you have now—with seven-billion people and so much temporal momentum and sociological inertial mass and all that—-it’s just . . . it’s just too much, even for me”.
“So, I did what any humbled-by-scale annihilator does in a pinch—-I used a force-multiplier, a perfectly-possessed avatar through which I could magnify my annihilating intentions. Does that make sense?”
“Well . . . I’m not saying it’s right, but I do see the efficiency of it.”
“Thank you for saying that brother. There’s hope for you yet. My advice is to step back, take a deep breath, relax, accept and just allow the Trumpocalypse to unfold …”
See my video, Dispatches from the Trumpocalypse, which also has links to all my other articles about the Trumpocalypse.
“I Stood Upon a High Place”
I stood upon a high place,
And saw, below, many devils
and carousing in sin.
One looked up, grinning,
And said, “Comrade! Brother!”
— Stephen Crane (1871-1900)
The day after I published this, I had an interesting text message exchange with a friend and spiritual ally, Justin Sedlmayer, which provided much new insight on the role of the shadow.
Justin: I SEE this approach to explaining the usefulness of dark forces. One on a large enough scale of mind could say that any evil is there for a purpose. I was intrigued when you, or possibly my father, explained that if there is a good entity on a scale of karma for one example of moral measurement, an angel, there would have to be a yin to the yang, a devil just as powerful.
I feel as though you’re playing out the polarity versions of yourself to better understand these images in a frame of mind the Kybalion would want you in. Realizing the potential for learning in polarity lets us see Romeo and Juliet versions of our dark and light selves hash it out to have a better inner understanding of the serendipitous stance of the universe.
Jonathan: Great insights, they stirred up a realization in me of how the dark side was teaching me a lesson by writing this. In my rabbit-hole writing sessions, in fantasy writing, and also when writing for the public in surrealist-humor mode, I don’t know where it’s going—it’s just a spontaneous happening and any conscious plan or intentions I had at the start get over-turned and themes may only be apparent only on reflection. My writing mentor at NYU, E.L. Doctorow, compared this sort of writing to driving fast at night with your headlights. You can only see what’s just up ahead, but you can make the whole trip that way. Ideas for the Vex story started happening in the Amazing Mirror Maze (an actual mirror maze in Minneapolis) and they alternated with downbeat, humbling and self-denigrating insights about my shadow.
But now I SEE that a non-dualist golden-shadow theme unfolded, because I found while writing the story that the muse drove me to make my character, the “good twin,” into a self-righteous asshole who thinks he has better muscle definition than his mirror image, etc. while I also found myself making Vex the far more conscious, cool, cosmic and powerful one.
I also had a dream the morning of Trump’s inauguration showing him serving an evolutionary purpose and had a similar one about George W. Bush: http://realitysandwich.com/321299/if-not-trump-you-a-dream-on-the-morning-of-the-inauguration/
Once you release ego/mind control of the creative process, the unconscious can reveal all sorts of things outside the range of your ordinary consciousness. Consciously, I was devaluing my shadow with downbeat insights, but at the same time, like a compensatory waking dream, the story was elevating the shadow as more consciously playing its cosmic role.
Yeah, it’s starting to coalesce right now while synchronistically I am at the Coyote Car Wash about to get all the bug splatter off of my camper van after my long road trip. My conscientious, do-gooder, shadow-reforming self was relentlessly dissing and try to clean up my bug-splattered egocentric show-off self, but the Coyote, the archetypal trickster animal, also needs to be honored. My show-offy-showman-trickster self was showing me that he is funnier, more entertaining and might have more insight to offer (or at least different insights) than my relentlessly self-critical superego self. In the Amazing Mirror Maze, the dialectic of these selves took the form of bi-hemispheric jarring cross-talk as my trickster self kept interrupting my self-critical shadow insights (also quite valuable) with ideas for the Vex story while I was trying to navigate the Amazing Mirror Maze.
So I need both my Coyote and Car-Wash selves and shouldn’t try to clean the Coyote away. The Coyote is more shrewd, intuitive and has a better sense of humor.
Justin: The integration of the shadow is something I’ve been stuck on for more than a year. I feel that in taking initiative and standing up for yourself when energy around you goes negative, you realize that the clever tools of survival in human interaction will naturally flow from the shadow self. The shadow self cares more to teach, and spends less energy doing it, but doesn’t mind so much the jolt of emotion it would bring.
Jonathan: I think Trump is the perfect, sent by Central Casting, caricature of the American shadow self sent to create a correction.