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Annhilation of Self

Updated on January 13, 2011

Appear, Appear, whatso thy shape or name,
O mountain Bull, Snake of the Hundred Heads,
Lion of the Burning Flame!

O God, Beast, Mystery Come!

- Bacchae, Euripides
A Greek

“Amor fati” love of fate- love that fate is inevitably death, constitutes the experience of the tragic art: therein the joy of it, the redeeming ecstasy….
Joseph Campbell

Annihilation of Self

Please annihilate my ever unsatisfied self
External obsessions live and breathe falsely in me
I want to surrender to the Other:
the god, the lover, the art
Let mystery consume me
So that all that is left is a silent flame
That once was my soul.

Time and space has yielded woe equally
My reckless pursuit of bliss
Never returned me to a mysterious rapture

Please erase me with Union
So I no longer feel the false betrayal of illusion

Flesh and bone are heavy with the material
My soul waits for a fire
A phoenix

I am a hunter of the Other
The one who will annihilate
And burn me pure.

Kori 2010

The Greeks with their tragic plays approached life and death with an artistic attitude. Their plays were not merely entertainment but were meant to address the deep seeded anxiety of death and how do we deal with this. They instinctively knew there would never be a happy ending. How do you live a life where death, decay and disinteregration will be the only truth you can measure. Their answer was the ritual katharsis(a purification of the community from the taints and poisons of the past year, the old contagion of sin and death”) and they created the festival or the mystery play where man sees everything broken and dismembered. This tragic play will help align himself with the mystery, the great phenomenon of our existence. The suffering human and the mystery unite when you go through a ritual, a festival of dance and your God becoming dismembered- Dionysos death, and their reborn nature returns the human to life in time with some sense of purpose or understanding. ( Hero with A Thousand Faces, Pg 26, 27, Joseph Campbell)

 How do we attain this alignment. Joseph Campbell and Aristotle purpose that when the ancient Greeks watched the tragic play they experienced pity and terror for the main character and thereby their own life was cleansed and verified because they too were in the middle of the tragic tale- they too would have a terrible end. By making plays that showed the people their fate somehow made it art- made it pure and thus they experienced a catharsis and cleansing. ( Hero with A Thousand Faces, Pg 26, 27, Joseph Campbell)

Essentially in the end we want to go down the road of the unknown. We want to be pushed into the mystery to see and feel the absolute contradiction and annihilation of our false selves. We are hunting underneath secretly for the rapture, the experience of being reborn. We want our ego to erase so that the divine can pour in. The artist, professional athlete and some spiritual leaders do experience the ego being extinguished and their souls speak out. There is no easy way to get there. In the Western material world we do not leave room or even advocate for true spiritual discipline or understanding. So many of us are half-hearted empty vessels wandering to and fro without catharsis or mystery, thus we also have many mentally sick and or confused people. It is time for a second Renaissance that will bring forth the light of our ancestors that had some understanding of the deep beautiful human soul and honor it with a sacred journey. And on this journey we need rituals that point our body to the spiritual experience. We are a three dimensional being and we must not deny any of it. The body, soul, mind are in this time and space together- let us address it all to move on.


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      Janell Rhiannon 6 years ago

      Your post hits close to the mark of what is killing our society. Joseph Campbell had a finger on the pulse of humanity...he was a man who saw where we were and where we were headed.Our obsession with life has made us not appreciate it...we are so busy running from the end of it.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      I love poetry. I may not always understand it but I love to read it for I know that every work and every word is created by God.

      Brother Dave.