Friday, March 25, 2011

The Perceived Labyrinth: Reality's Inevitable Fall

By Stephen Hershey 
There have been numerous staples in my recently evolving life that in the very least have corresponded to the purer deconstructions of the known reality. Days before the world's last Christmas, I watched the 1980s film Labyrinth both while rolling and drugged up with an inebriating and exhilirating amount of ketamine.

Before anyone injects their own toxic levels of judgment on my experience, be forewarned that I could care less. Get with the program; they're fun. My admittedly first viewing of
Labyrinth made it clear that Hensen's creations were bred for the altered state of mind. The wake of the evening's opened consciousness has finally brought to words what I'd started to feel.

Bearing the mantle of the planet's current "meta-transformation"--struggling with a near mythological hunger for hoarding energy and obsessions with the ego--it became clear that the protagonist's imaginary labyrinth, created to remove the innocence of "the child," was a metaphor for the disillusioned realities that have been created around us, forming what we see, hear, and relate to on a day-to-day.

As we approach this magnified turning point in our world, the necessity for our species to
choose evolution becoming exponentially direr as the seconds pass, the parasitic technologies and illusions we've created to satisfy and feed the ego are clamoring for survival. As Sarah travels through the labyrinth, searching for her "inner child," Jareth, the Goblin King, the trickster and master of ceremonies, appears to both lead her astray and confide in her wishes.

One doesn't have to be particularly interested to look outside and learn that the boundaries we've established, or the perceived reality--economics, corporation, implanted disinformation--is collapsing.

At the beginning of the story, Sarah was recalling what would be foretold, though struggled to recall the resolution:
"For my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom as great... my kingdom... oh, I can never remember that line..."

It was Sarah's baby brother that she willed away by the Goblin King, in the same vein that we've willfully subjected our fallen nation to a falsified "American Dream," to simplify the metaphor, guiding ourselves away from the playful birthright of the divine child. Bowie's character, akin to the illusion of our culture's proposed sickness, asks for no return but sympathy, as he proclaims, countless times throughout the story, that he is only doing what was asked of him.

Throughout the course of her journey, Sarah finds herself among a junkyard surrounded by old hags. As she is led into what seems to be her childhood room, she's coddled and entranced by "her things" as the junk lady shoves trinkets, dolls, and toys--personified attachments--to dull the girl's intentions. Sarah escapes, once more, only by
remembering what she was meant to do--take back the child, and undo the labyrinth, undo the illusion. "It's just junk," she proclaims.

When Sarah confronts the Goblin King in the heart of his labyrinth, his confinement of reality, the words of his song echo what the current planetary metaphor must be feeling toward the collective "us." Remember, Sarah embodies the everyman seeking
something, while finding themselves unequivocally, though perhaps not unintentionally, lost.

How you turned my world
You precious thing

You starve and near exhaust me
Everything I've done
I've done for you

I move the stars for no one
You've run so long
You've run so far
Your eyes can be so cruel

Just as I can be so cruel
Though I do believe in you
Yes I do

Live without the sunlight
Love without your heartbeat
I can't live within you

Within the phrase, "I can't live within you," Jareth reveals that he is farce, an illusion, aligned with the modern constructs of reality. He was indeed created to serve a purpose. The question remains, have we somehow collectively asked to become separated from an attuned spiritual awareness? Or, was it another force that intervened?

Although, lines earlier Jareth stated, "Though I do believe in you/ Yes I do." It begs to question which side this supposed planetary antagonist is on. We blame the government. We blame the status quo. We blame Fox News. Yet, are we asking to reject the child within and live within the construct, within the labyrinth, ever only to repeat ourselves through looped quests; fighting, and wondering, though never achieving the goal we're born unaware of. As the junk lady told Sarah, "You can't look where you're going if you don't know where you're going." And, it has been our labyrinth's job to make sure we
don't know.

During their final confrontation, the will of the Goblin King becomes ever more transparent:

“Sarah, beware. I have been generous up until now, but I can be cruel.”
“Generous! What have you done that’s generous?”
“Everything! Everything that you wanted I have done. You asked that the child be taken—I took him. You cowered before me—I was frightening. I have reordered time. I have turned the world upside-down, and I have done it all for you! I am exhausted from living up to your expectations of me. Isn’t that generous?”
“Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City, for my will is as strong as yours. And my—“
“Stop! Wait! Look, Sarah. Look what I’m offering you—your dreams.”
“My kingdom as great.”
“I ask for so little. Just let me rule you, and you can have everything that you want…”
“My kingdom as great… Damn. I can never remember that line.”
“Just fear me, love me, do as I say, and I will be your slave. Let me control you, and I’ll give you everything you want."

Touche, Bowie. You just went there. Have we, in fact, enslaved reality? The question is interesting, considering the perspective of our world and how we abuse our own, as well as the planet and its fellow inhabitants.
Seen in the context of what we have created--what has been willed into existence to govern time and our perspective of reality--it is no wonder history has turned the way it has, leading the remembrance of such truth to be experienced through painful earthquake, tragedy, and likewise deconstructive trauma. Again, have we enslaved reality? Undoubtedly, it is our mission to remember something, and until we do, we're cursed to sift through a muck of confusing thralls and dizzying convictions--manipulations and imitations of the true reality (whatever that means)--reliving an endless cycle of labyrinthine proportions.
It's equally humbling to imagine the world as exhausting itself, whether through resources, foundation, or spiritual aptitude, to fit our perceived "expectations." Jareth, evil as he is perceived, speaks the truth. We, the people, are exhausting our realities. Thereby, it is time to let them go; let it crumble, where a renewed, fulfilled, and sustainable existence--our new truth--might awaken from within our stilled bones.
"My kingdom as great. My kingdom as great..."
Perhaps it is the purpose of our generation to end this seemingly endless curse of perceived salvation and break the labyrinth as Sarah successfully did, destroying the false construct, destroying reality, and finally remembering the "divine child" within, and proclaim to the walls surrounding us, "...You have no power over me."

Pre-order a copy of The Immanence of Myth, published by Weaponized in July 2011.

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