The Unemployed Samurai #14

The Disrupter

The disrupter comes in many guises. Sometimes he is your enemy, sometimes he is your friend. He comes because you have been sleeping, he comes so that you will draw lines in the sand. You have to say to him: this is where I draw the line.

But sometimes he comes to sweep away the line. Your lines have been too rigidly drawn, your ideas have become too fixed. He comes as the monster you have always feared, to tear apart your circumscribed world. This kind of monster will only wreak havoc, until you drive your spear down his throat. It is the the only way.

But the paradoxical issue is: this can never be achieved though real violence. The disrupter incites you to his own violent end; he puts your back up against the wall. He shows you that you are, indeed capable of great violence — just like him. But if you are an Unemployed Samurai you will not use this kind of violence under any circumstances. And if you do, he has you cornered. And he wins.

You may have to kill the monster ‘virtually’. In other words, through imagination and ritual. You may need to build a bonfire and make an effigy, and stab him in the heart with your imagination. This is the true function of sacrificial ritual: to pacify the disrupters and invite the gods and goddesses who bring harmony.

If you do this ritual, when the disrupter does comes to you in real life, you will not be provoked. You know what you are capable of — you see yourself in your cherished enemy. You are, in fact, tied to him in the deepest reptilian part of your brain. If you know this in your bones, he cannot hurt you, he cannot damage you, he cannot break your intrinsic dignity.

The disrupter comes when the present structures have been corrupted. He gives us the choice: the continue to flog a horse that is dead or dying, to reform the tradition, or to create or join new structures in the ashes of the old. We can leave behind the behemoth, or find the human behind the mask.

If things get too bad and you know the floods are coming, you can build an arc. However, if your battered earth is still worth salvaging, you are required to stay. If you are too tied to the disrupter, then you might have to fight it out. But again, the disrupter may be your enemy or your friend — or he may be both. He may tragically destroy what is precious in your world, or clear away the dead wood so that a new forest can rise up.

The most difficult confession: that the disrupter lives in us. When that is seen, then goodness can prevail. Otherwise, the two ‘sides’ are always at each other’s throats.

We can stop the war, the brutalizing of facts and dreams both, and we can keep the disrupter and the monster from our door. And if he does comes, and after we have made the appropriate gestures and pacified the demons in our own heart, we can then offer him a cup of tea. There will be no need to poison the tea anymore. He will fall into our lap like a loving beast.

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