7 Signs You May Have Promethean Audacity


By Gary Z. McGee


“I would rather be chained to this rock than be the obedient servant of the gods.” ~Prometheus


What is promethean audacity? Promethean audacity is deviating from the ordinary to discover the extraordinary. It’s practicing Dionysian disobedience despite Apollonian obsequiousness. The kind of disobedience that courageously balances light and dark, joins summit with abyss, and baptizes one’s badness into one’s best.


It’s the realization that true excellence comes from learning how to see. Promethean rebels learn how to see through a lens of courage, humility, humor, and curiosity. They live deliberately. They don’t take things for granted. They psychosocially crush out. They rise above the cultural morass to see how everything is connected to everything else.


You can call it hacking the mind of God, or Dionysian disobedience, or putting the “thorough” in Thoreau. The key is courageously delving into the forbidden to discover hidden secrets otherwise unattainable.


1.) You’ve reconditioned your cultural conditioning:


“Turn your life into a line of poetry written with a splash of blood.” ~Yukio Mishima


You have shed your society’s outdated skin. You’ve sussed out the truth despite having been kissed with lies. You’ve flipped the wrist on the parochial spoon-feeding of your forefathers.


In an act of absolute vulnerability, you’ve shed the “invulnerable” armor of your culture’s placating and mollycoddling “safety net.” In short: you’ve stretched your comfort zone beyond the horizon that others are still hoodwinked into believing is a boundary.


You’re ahead of the curve, playing Carse’s Infinite Game while others are stuck like rats chasing each other’s tails in a maze of finite games.


You’ve heard the Herald’s call with Over Ears, and you live by what you hear. Most people call you crazy. But those with keen hearing call you Legend.


2.) You keep curiosity ahead of certainty:


“Curiosity is insubordination in its purest form.” ~Vladimir Nabokov


While others fumble over so-called answers, you’re flipping the script and planting minefields in mind fields. You’re dropping thought bombs into the fortified ramparts of blind belief. You’ve taken Nietzsche’s example of a philosopher to the nth degree: “What I understand of “philosopher”: a terrible explosive in the presence of which everything is in danger.”


Indeed. If, as Epictetus said, “it’s impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows,” then you are bound and determined to unlearn what you have learned while systematically destroying what people think they know.


You wield “I don’t know” like a sword, slaying false truths and decapitating false gods. You are the question mark personified, a mighty scythe, and nothing is immune to the clean cold truth of your cut.


3.) You live life on purpose with purpose:


“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” ~Leonardo da Vinci


You go full frontal boss mode on living life to the fullest. No holds barred, you take a leap of courage into the unknown and wrestle it into “the known.” Fortified walls collapse around you. Comfort zones snap into wakefulness. You are alive and nothing will kill your life unless it is death itself.


Even death is yours to toy with. Because you have infinity inside you. You realize that the only way to conquer death is to live life so healthy, so courageously, and so humorously that the gods blush with envy. The fleeting impermanence of life has you oriented toward absolute vulnerability. Courage in the face of death is the only option.


As Kenshin said, “Those who cling to life die, and those who defy death live.”


You understand that death is an initiation into the infinite. And the deeper you gaze into infinity, the closer you get to resolving the anxiety of death. When you’re oriented toward death, you live. When you’re disoriented toward death, you suffer. Living fully is dying well in sacred alignment with Infinity. Living poorly is slowly dying out of misalignment with the infinite.


You have strategically aligned yourself with the infinite through your vulnerable courage. Thus, you live with purpose on purpose despite impermanence.


4.) You’ve overcome the Hero’s Journey:


“Hesitation puts obstacles in your path, boldness eliminates them. Once you understand this, you will find it essential to overcome your natural timidity and practice the art of audacity.” ~Robert Greene


Having heard the Herald’s call with keen ears, you had no choice but to take the Hero’s Journey. You’ve wrestled threshold guardians into submission. You’ve unscrambled the labyrinth. You’ve integrated your shadow. You’ve danced with the trickster in absolute delight at the laughability of all things. You’ve cut through so many false gods with the sword of the hero that you’ve lost track of how many thrones you’ve usurped.


The wisdom you’ve gained on your journey is a clean razor slicing through a thousand dirty “truths”. You’ve returned to the tribe with the magic elixir of higher knowledge. Some have fearlessly drunk from it and some have fearfully forsaken it, but you can’t be bothered either way. You are merely the messenger of the terrible truth that has come from slaying so many dragons.


5.) You’re able to transform wounds into wisdom:


“A man of genius makes no mistakes. His mistakes are volitional and are the portals of discovery.” ~James Joyce


Cut by infinite truth, pecked ad infinitum by infinite crows, chained by infinite gods, and still you are a force that cannot be contained. For you have learned one of the greatest powers in the universe: how to transform pain into power.


Pain is a whetstone, and you are the blade. You have become so sharp that sharpness itself is dull in comparison. Infinity balks at your ability to outflank it. The crows gawp at your ability to turn agony into mastery. The gods weep at your ability to cut through all chains.


And fire is your gift to all the moths. But, more importantly, it’s a gift for those who are also fire.


6.) You’re not afraid to count coup on the gods:


“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” ~Sun Tzu


You’ve lost track of how many times you have crept up on false gods while they were sleeping and found them wanting when your coup stick came down. With thunder inside you and lightning in your coup stick, they never stood a chance. For they had forsaken infinity for vanity, and it was inevitable that you would become their shaming mechanism.


Counting coup is a Native American act of courage referring to the winning of prestige in battle through the social leveling mechanism of shaming. A coup warrior is a person who wins prestige by uncommon acts of bravery in the face of fear. Danger and risk are required to count coup, and it is recorded by touching (shaming) an enemy with a coup stick in battle and then escaping unharmed.


Counting coup is a metaphor for dangerously and humorously shocking anything into wakefulness. And so, with infinity blazing inside you, you counted coup on all the religious gods who took themselves too seriously.


7.) You’re not afraid to be the personification of God:


“The eye with which I perceive God is the same eye with which God perceives me.” ~Plutarch


You have remembered that you are God. You understand that everything is connected to everything else. You are the perceptual pivot of this interconnection. You are the universe becoming aware of itself. And you have a vital responsibility to its unfolding.


You understand that man is God asleep, and God is man awake. You are awake, and you will no longer pretend that you are asleep. You refuse to relapse. For there is still so much fire to steal. There are still so many tables to turn, so many scripts to flip, so many boxes to think outside of.


The world is yours because you are the world. The universe is yours because you are the universe. God is yours because you are God.


As Alan Watts said, “You are something that the whole universe is doing, in the same way that a wave is something that the whole ocean is doing.” The same applies to the world, to the universe, and to God.


It was always the case that you were God. You were always God in disguise. You were always Infinity pigeonholed into a finite construct. You were always a finite integration of an infinite expression. You were always God playing peekaboo with itself.


And now, with your Promethean Audacity in full force, you have the wherewithal to act on it.


Image source:Blood Angel by Saeed Farhangian



About the Author:


Gary Z McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide-awake view of the modern world.


This article (7 Signs You May Have Promethean Audacity) was originally created and published by Self-inflicted Philosophy and is printed here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Gary Z McGee and self-inflictedphilosophy.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this statement of copyright.