By Apuleius Charlton
Special guest blogger
Chapter Five is an opportunity to reflect on the important lessons contained in Chapter Four. I believe that Wilson provides this chapter because of the importance of the material previously covered concerning the Second Circuit and human interaction.
Wilson certainly doesn’t paint a flattering picture of the behaviors that are derived from the anal-territorial circuit, even the name isn’t pleasant. Yet, I don’t think one can easily underestimate the importance of analysing the behaviors that derive from these emotional imprints, even in the most intellectual or “advanced” personalities. It is tempting to treat the world like a Lion House and use one’s understanding of the Second Circuit primarily as a lens to view others; as in all things, it is important to overcome this impulse and apply the strictest observation(s) to ourselves. I would wager this is why “You” comes in as the final (23rd) entry in the list of personalities to examine using the criteria provided.
This chapter is both easy and difficult for me to understand. Of course, I have a deep and abiding hatred of Jehovah, Murdstone and the Thunder God of the Wake. Or whatever it is that they represent. There is something so blasphemous to me in the idea of Jehovah, or the strict, hateful deity- why make Nature, in its infinite caprice any angrier or malicious? There’s always something very small and very human in the idea of the Angry Father God that has seemed as if it were a built-in mockery-inducing mechanism, a kind of cruel joke. Those who don’t get the joke go on their whole lives, serving and trembling before the wrath of shadow that seems monstrous, yet is caused by an idea that is the imaginary equivalent of a gnat. Those who seek to emulate such a creature as the Abrahamic God, those that make themselves into a mockery of a mockery, are perhaps the vilest of all God’s creatures. (See what I did there?) The real life Murdstones, the disciplinarians and the servants of dour religion are worth little more than the scorn and hatred they naturally engender.
There’s nothing quite as grotesque as watching someone writhe before a fake tyrant and no idea so loathsome in that they wish for you to grovel too. Save us from the Xtians, Oh Lord.
For all my hatred of Jehovah, it was more often than not the female figures of my youth who were my disciplinarians. Most of my teachers were women and I was brought up with a Bertie Wooster-like brace of formidable aunts. I don’t wish to get too deep into my personal history, for once, but the wooden spoon looms large in my mind as something that nourishes and punishes in turn. Perhaps this helps to explain my attraction to female deities akin to Hera, Durga/Kali and BABALON- Goddesses of Destruction who offer their fickle protection with proper supplication/observation. Reflecting upon my preference in deities/models of the universe in such a manner does cause me to wonder why I have such an aversion to the Father God. My Father was by no means a cruel figure in my childhood and is still someone I would associate with stability and safety. That said, I can remember the words “wait until your Father gets home” and the dread they could conjure, sometimes for hours ahead of the eventual consequences. I think that it is an intellectual (not as in I am so intelligent, but rather my mental conception) bit of indigestion that makes the Thunder God such an unpleasant idea.
It is tiresome having to retread my dislike of Jehovah and the hostile strength/weakness personalities that it creates. Yet, as I spend a little time daily retreading The Thing That Ate The Constitution and seeing in the news how little our society has changed since the turn of the century, we are still largely a fractious and paranoid group of apes who are unable to stop cobbling the boots on our necks, it seems we are still living largely in a similar manner to the trembling cave dwellers of our past.
We should be able to have some fun with the list of characters over the coming month. Analysis away!