Eἰκονοκλάστης! Iconoclast! This is how I have always been labelled in the conservative part of Greek society where I grew up, which literally means “destroyer of likenesses of gods”. This is the etymology of the word; of course I never actually destroyed any images of saints or anything, but there was no way for me to swallow all those teachings about the paraphernalia of religion which even in my infant mind were missing the essence of spirituality which is the foundation of all religions.
My dear mother who passed away almost twenty years ago, a karmic mortal enemy who took her new-incarnation role very seriously and a great promoter of my true self as the polarities usually go hand in hand, used to recount how she would stand confused above my cradle, well before I could pronounce any words, not really knowing what to do with me. Ο φιλόσοφος! The philosopher! she would think in awe every time she saw me examine everyone around me like a deep adult thinker, especially when they were treating me like a cute little tabula rasa or as a being of their own making they could be bragging about. She had the audacity to be admitting it later repeatedly to my face: “Oh God! –you had me thinking– Whatever am I going to do with this small philosopher?” It was all about control, you see, because my independent thinking was making her maternal role crumble in the eyes of the very society she needed to impress as the wife of a much older man who was forbidding her to work, lest he would lose his control over her. She died painfully of cancer, we wholeheartedly made peace during her last hours although she could not speak properly anymore, they dumped all the blame on me, a few years later my father had a fatal accident which my covertly homosexual brother and the rest of that pseudo-godly society labelled as suicide despite what the police testified, again dumping all the blame on me and my “womanizing” since that was the year I got engaged with Plutonia, the only girl and woman of my life (I firmly believe polygamy is physically, psychologically, morally and spiritually wrong), without asking them, because they would all prefer me single and lobotomized. I left my 30-year prison of an apartment to set out on my unbelievably harsh adventure with Plutonia, and my brother licked the right arses and became a priest of that same Christian denomination he grew up in, which even etymologically claims to be the only correct faith. Sticking with a system where hypocrisy reigns supreme was his only way of surviving. Is he deemed as a better survivor than me? Definitely. But I am who I am, a Scorpio-squared Leo who knows the depths of Hades, and I do not apologize for dancing to my own tune and encouraging people to who do the same.
A quarter of a century after my cradle days (two decades back from now), still an unbending iconoclast after my mother had gone, I presented an old school friend of mine who had just had his first child, with a box of chocolates together with a beautiful wishing card I had created myself with much love and artistic care, featuring Kahlil Gibran’s poem On Children in the original (English was his second language, too, and he was an avid reader of Fantasy and Science Fiction, books that to such people have no connections whatsoever with the “real” world). He received it with a polite smile and started reading.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
By no means had I intended to provoke him, but that was exactly what happened. I could see his smile gradually drooping and could hear the thought forming in his mind: Oh, man! I so think your mom was right! At least he kept his mouth shut, put my card quietly aside and turned to address the word to another member of “our” clique. He didn’t mean to insult me – “back”! That new father knew very well, like all of these spies-for-my-parents “friends” knew, how that deeply-dissatisfied-with-her-life woman had been a tyrant to me, bringing me up like a girl in the Middle Ages, keeping me sick in bed for the first ten years of my life (well, it was not all her fault; I am well-above-average sensitive to people’s toxic vibrations, a psychic sponge, really) and they all resented my lack of respect, as they saw it, for their nice and solid religious-community values. To them I was just an αἱρετικός, a heretic, and they couldn’t care less about the original Ancient Greek meaning of this Christianity-distorted adjective which derives from the noun αἵρεσις, heresy, which etymologically means “choice, the exercise of free will”. Well, whatever; you’re just a Destroyer of our Beliefs. There was nothing spiritual about those beliefs, really, and this is why I have always been a social outcast, completely unwanted in these circles. Although I do cherish the memories of a few human moments we shared, our ways parted because all these people were beneficiaries of a sociopolitical system which they masked as a religion of the true God.
My father was sort of an exception. He didn’t exactly (need to) bow to this system because he had his income coming in from abroad, but with his war experiences (and his experiences with his deeply dissatisfied, abusive mother) he had gone more in the nihilist direction, and most of what I would receive from him was scorn. Being a very educated man, he could only be envious of me coming up with words of wisdom seemingly out of nowhere, and from a very early age, too, without having access to any books of his, since he always kept his home office locked up and his mouth shut about everything he was reading. “Ha, ha, my boy, you think you invented the world? Many others, much more important people than you will ever be, have said the same things before you. You’re no big deal; Plato said that. Oh, this is an idea of Nietsche’s. Why don’t you shut your boring mouth, you’re not the one who conceived this, Spinoza is. Ah, Kierkegaard! Have you ever heard of Kierkegaard? Never mind, you couldn’t care less; you think you know everything already”. As fellow blogger Symbol Reader (who is featured on our blogroll) wrote, “Leos are so often disappointed with their biological fathers because their true mission, like that of Perceval, is to reunite with their divine father who helps them connect with their own radiant, transpersonal, divine essence.”
What then is my true family besides my heroic Plutonia with whom I keep trudging on in this life? What does someone who has his Imum Coeli in Aquarius perceive as his true family? Well, no less than the whole world! You, dear readers. This big Aquarian family of fellow thinkers, feelers and (self-)healers, writers, poets, philosophers, spiritual people of all sorts of backgrounds. You are the reason I am here with Plutonia maintaining this blog, because I have always deeply felt that “The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof” (Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah).
Our dear spiritual sister Willow (who is featured on our blogroll and in our very first post), on the recent occasion of our wishing her on the six-year birthday of her fabulous astrology-with-a-sociopolitical-bent blog, has written to us among other encouraging things: “Thanks for being authentic and for refusing the path that would lead to benefit and reward from a horribly corrupt system.” This is what I call family. She’s an iconoclast, too, and I’d like to quote here part of her empowering latest post:
“It’s true that I’m a trained journalist, but after engaging in that line of work, I chose to leave the media – both mainstream and alternative – because I do not like the effect it has on people’s minds. I’ve been censored multiple times while working in the media – yes, in both mainstream and alternative. I see public opinion being shaped in erroneous ways by the media. I see important stories being intentionally kept out of the media.
I’ve seen how reporters start to self-censor after being shot down by editors time and time again on the stories that matter to them. I see how they start to go along to get along. So I’ve seen the top-down power structure of the media at work, and it’s nothing I wish to be a part of.
Since I do not like the energy of the media, I’m not going to emulate its rhythms or style in any way with my own writing, if I can help it. At this stage in the game, I feel the media is, ultimately, a propaganda tool for the powers-that-be, shaping half-truths and weak arguments into stories for mass consumption. I believe the media diverts attention, in many cases, from what’s really going on on this planet. I took my leave, and I won’t be re-entering that scene.
You’ll see a great number of sexy and sensational images splashed across your newspapers, television screens, and computer monitors this cardinal Grand Cross spring and over the following few years. But you won’t see them repeated here.
The world is at a boiling point, it’s true. Forced into action by conditions too dire to tolerate. But from my perspective, we’ve always been here. It’s always been this bad – it’s just that more people are directly affected now and fewer can deny it. Fewer are able to go along with it. They would if they could.
Have revolt and resistance not always burned in the hearts and souls of people oppressed under corrupt and unjust systems? Things are being pushed to points of criticality on this planet, and will be during the exact Grand Cross this April, but the situation is really not much different than it ever was.
The conditions on Earth were never OK. The levels of needless suffering here were never OK.
We are under an umbrella of the same deadly and corrupt Global Governance around the world. Whether the burning rage against injustice and oppression are internalized or externalized and spilling into the streets, the conditions are pretty much the same.”
And here in the Soviet-like state of Greece, no one can foretell whether and when this genocide will remain silent or become externalized. There are many who are already pressuring us, the desperate, jobless, childless, drowning-in-debt-due-to-overtaxation and to them obviously futureless people to spill our blood on the streets so that they remain safe and their corrupt future guaranteed. We, in their minds, are the ones who should lead the revolution for the reinstatement of their beloved status quo that has so lavishly been showering them with money and privileges during the so-called “fat years” of the Euro introduction to this country. This, for them, is our role in this world. This is the social cannibalism the world is being led towards. The Greek society is already split in two, in a so-far-silent but otherwise Ukrainian-like civil war that is turning brother against brother, fellowman against fellowman.
Can a few thinkers reverse this situation? No, we have to multiply; for any balance to be restored and any salvation to be brought, we need more people who will be resisting in their minds, questioning, researching, fighting in whatever way they can against dehumanization and for humanity, encouraging and assuring each other our efforts are not in vain. I am deeply grateful to all of you who read these lines nodding in agreement; and to all of you frowning and maybe secretly kindling that little spark of divine resistance deep inside your soul.
Although this is not a music blog, there is no more poignant way to finish this post of mine than with a mournfully powerful track by the band progressive metal pretty much started with, Symphony X, a band whose work is so much more beyond musical mastery, which has helped me endure endless hours of day-and-night heart-wrenching work for my last massive book-translation assignments (see the About Us page for more on our professional past). There are many music genres I love, but these fellow Gen Xers really help raise awareness in a powerful way which is so expressive of a part of my soul. As the worship of all forms of artificial intelligence dictating our lives increasingly becomes the new iconolatry, the title of their latest album is precisely Iconoclast, hitting the spot with the ancient force of the Hellenic language, as also in tracks like Heretic, and Prometheus, Προμηθεύς, “the one acting with forethought”, the Titan in Greek mythology who provided humans with the endowments they would need to survive and who incurred the wrath of Zeus because he didn’t sacrifice enough to the gods, in order to give much more to humanity. The theme of this album is a manifesto against dehumanization, a wake-up call warning us about the unholy developments awaiting humanity as Pluto is gloomily headed towards the constellation of Aquarius. The cover art says it all.
Symphony X’s latest (2011) release: Iconoclast
I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Russell, Jason and the three Michaels; a lot of archangelic warrior energy there. Their music for me is sacred geometry translated into sound, and you can hardly find more powerful vocals infused with such emotion. Please purchase their albums if you can; it’s a shame so many of us can only listen to them on old computers through hiccupping Internet connections we can hardly keep paying our bills for. Here is the last track of Iconoclast. The previous ones rock harder, musically and lyrically, as they unfold the dehumanization theme, while this one sums everything up by appealing to universal human sentiments. It starts wistfully with nice piano sounds and ends just as smoothly. When All Is Lost: a yearnful anthem by Symphony X for all Gen Xers and beyond; we know you’ll understand one day…