By Gary Z. McGee
“If the fool would persist in his folly, he would become wise.” ~William Blake
God’s gangster is the fool who persisted in his folly. It is the Beginner’s Mind having never allowed the Master’s Complex to dig its claws in. It is the life-death-rebirth process come alive inside us. It is the embodiment of rebirth cultivating the “skyhook” of curiosity lest the “anchor” of certainty hold us down.
God’s gangster is the sacred clown that befuddles all sacred clowns. Antithetical, atonal, amoral, God’s gangster is a dissonant energy that flips all scripts, turns all tables, pushes all envelopes, and flattens all boxes. It is a force of nature first, a person second. It is neither evil nor good, harboring neither pity nor rancor. It is shadow, sage, hero, and trickster all wrapped up into one unifying archetype.
And its power is accessible to us all. We have only to tap into it. And it is vital that we do so. Because God’s gangster is just insouciant enough, just ruthless enough, and just courageous enough to tip the scales in favor of harmony and higher order.
As Joseph Campbell said, “All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells are within you.” Discover yourself by conquering the false Self constructed by your cultural conditioning. Let God’s gangster rise up inside you and flatten the box you so desperately attempt to think outside of.
God’s gangster is the backhand of God—interrogative, humorous, fierce. It takes no prisoners. In fact, it releases all prisoners from their prison of dogma. It is Rumi forcing the human condition’s head over the edge of the abyss: “Why do you stay in prison when the door is wide open?”
God’s gangster destroys all false gods:
“I am not a man. I am dynamite!” ~Nietzsche
When outdated gods need to die, God’s gangster is the energy we need to get past the fortified ramparts of our cognitive dissonance. When the nightmare needs to be rearranged, God’s gangster is the lightning bolt that awakens us from pretending to be asleep.
As Zlavoj Zizek says, “The true task of radical emancipatory movements is not just to shake things out of their commonplace inertia, but to change the very coordinates of social reality.”
As such, God’s gangster is a Nietzschean Overman, a Disaster Shaman, a Cosmic Hero, a New Oracle, and a Sacred Clown who practices Crazy Wisdom while walking the Middle Way path. No-holds-barred, God’s gangster is a fist of Zen, a blitzkrieg of satori, a maleficence of benevolence. Pulling no punches, it strikes hard, and it strikes true, demolishing all finite gods attempting to appear infinite.
God’s gangster is Infinity’s bullhorn: declaring God as Infinity itself, the interconnectedness of all things without a need to pigeonhole it into any single separate entity.
God’s gangster is consistently redefining God, rebirthing God, and allowing God to be truly infinite, thus destroying all religious gods that came before it.
God’s gangster chooses dangerous questions over safe answers:
“There is no complete life. There are only fragments. We are born to have nothing, to have it pour through our hands.” ~James Salter
God’s gangster shatters illusions and demolishes delusions. It keeps courage ahead of comfort and curiosity ahead of certainty. It realizes, as Seneca did, that, “As fire is the test of gold, adversity is the test of men.”
Indeed. Utilize the adversity of questions to test your answers. Toss your so-called answers into the fire. Let them burn if they must. For as PC Hodgell said, “That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
God’s gangster is foremost a fire that burns all false truths. It is a constant reminder that the Truth Quest must remain ahead of the “truth” lest we become stuck in lies, deceptions, or delusions.
God’s gangster stays as close to the edge as possible without going over:
“I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.” ~Kurt Vonnegut
God’s Gangster is precisely the archetype we’ll need to turn along with the Great Wheel of Change without getting crushed by it. The future is rolling in with a speed that defies reason and threatens to flatten us into obsolete cogs in an outdated clock if we let it.
As Yuval Noah Harari advised, “In the twenty-first century, you can’t afford stability. If you try to hold on to some stable identity or worldview, you risk being left behind as the world flies by you with a whoosh.”
God’s gangster is a force of curiosity, courage, and humor that can help keep us ahead of the curve (or “whoosh”). It’s a tapping of our inner child, inner hero, inner trickster, and inner sage.
We can’t afford stability in the world that’s coming. Stability equals a stagnant and stuck wheel that will sooner or later break apart under too much stress. What’s needed is flexibility, resilience, and adaptability.
God’s gangster keeps us ahead of the curve through spiritual circumspection and existential skepticism. It cuts through the blinding light. It’s a razor-sharp question mark in the dark.
God’s gangster seeks power over power through the greater power of humor:
“Better to operate with detachment, then; better to have a way but infuse it with a little humor; best, to have no way at all, but to have instead the wit constantly to make one’s way anew from the materials at hand.” ~Lewis Hyde
God’s Gangster is a force of humor so powerful that power itself is overpowered. It resolves the problem of the will to power by going next level with the will to humor. Accompanied by a sense of childlike lightheartedness and play, the will to humor ushers in a vital soul-centric perspective as opposed to the ego-centric perspective of the will to power.
If, as Mark Twain said, “The human race has only one effective weapon, and that is laughter,” then it stands to reason that we double down on laughter as a weapon and turn it upon our self-seriousness.
When we are cutting with the kind of laughter that manifests from the will to humor, we are cutting with the sword of humility. We are howling with the voice of God’s gangster: a language older than words.
God’s gangster is only ever serious about not being serious. Everything is inconsequential. Everything is an infinite game. God’s gangster is an infinite player who recognizes the truth of Emil Cioran words: ““Fate” was only a mask, as everything is a mask that is not death.”
God’s gangster laughs at all masks: the mask of the Overman, the mask of enlightenment, even the mask of God. It laughs at all pretenses, especially its own. Most of all, it laughs at the cosmic joke. Not because it is immune to it but because it realizes that everything is the butt end of it. Everything is laughable. Everything is fleeting. Nothing is permanent. All things end.
We are all of us caught in a cosmic blender that we know next to nothing about. Swirling around in our confusion, we are given a choice: languish or laugh. God’s gangster gives us a way to transcend the confusion of the cosmic blender through the trump card of holy laughter.
Image source: The Fool by Oozium
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 (God’s Gangster) 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.