The trouble with all of these damned preachers is the error of the
found truth. When they get that tremolo in the voice and tell you what
God has said, you know you’ve got a faker. When people think that they,
or their guru, have The Truth—'This is It!'—they are what Nietzsche
calls 'epileptics of the concept': people who have gotten an idea that’s
driven them crazy.
- Joseph Campbell
* * *
Here's the thing: ignore everything you read: dismiss it, throw it out, shut the door on it. Anytime anyone tells you something ignore it. It is poison to you. Read any book, listen to any lecture, watch any movie - spew it from your mouth. Why? Because you have to test it, challenge it, see if it is worthy of your time and energy. Throw it out and see if it has the balls to come back. See if it insists on your attention, if it bothers you, unsettles you, challenges you. Make any idea earn its place in your life. You are the sole arbiter of what you think, say and do.
Why take anyone else's word on it?
* * *
The risk with searching is that what you'll find isn't for you. It is easy to take some other authority's word on it, but damn, how do they know who you are? Prophets and preachers succeed because people let them do the thinking for them. Resist this impulse. Listen. Listen closely for some echo of the knowledge you already have - your innate history of being human, the collective unconscious, the well of your own desires - and before you make room for an idea have it earn its place by getting rid of it. Play hard to get. You sure as shit don't want to live your life as a rehash of what's come before. Worse still you don't want to become animated by another's promise of the Truth. It ruins your soul because each soul, every conscious mind, all life points to something other than itself and yet is itself part of that other. We have given this idea many names over the eons, but Religion and Knowldege are the broad categories. And there is cool shit in there, just don't take it at face value.
If you will lived unfucked and free, if you will stomp the earth as you make your way to your dust, then you will have to decide on what is best kept and what is best tossed out. It is so much easier for a God or a priest or a guru or a thinker or a leader to suss it all out and tell you how it is. But if you drink from that cup, you'll never know what you could have made with your time. You will never even have the thought it could have been any other way. Here's your gold watch. Thank you for your years of service, now shuffle off and enjoy your apartment at Del Webb.
To be clear: you may choose to devote your life to your God; you may choose to write or paint or somehow leave a trail of breadcrumbs for those who might stumble across your path; you may be a priest or a guru, but you have to come to it through your own volition and not as a scoop of pap shoveled in your mouth.
Throw it all out. See what comes back. Throw it out again. Make sure the things that color your life are worthy of the enterprise. You are completely unique. If you don't live up to the possibilities of your name, no one will and the world will not have noticed you ever drew breath. To stay fucked because you've been put in a trick bag of guilt and expectation is to waste the only thing you have to give: your life.
You and I, we fucked and stuck shitheads of worry and doubt, are here to live before we die. We are here to sort it out and make our own way. We are here to find deep pockets of love and empathy for those struggling to find their feet, We are here, just like Kilroy and Blucher, to leave behind a marker for the ones who follow: Dude, don't be afraid. You can figure it out for yourself. That's the whole point. Ignore anyone who tells you different.