Caricature vs Character
by Jake Block
Many people work too much on their façade, neglecting the development of a strong and stable character. In this, they reject their apparent self, that slice of visual proof of identity to which we are all born, to develop a caricature of ourselves that we would prefer the world to see as our reality. The “me” of our birth becomes sublimated to the “ME” of our egoistic self depiction. There are as many reasons for people doing this as there are people who don the disguises that mask their apparent self for the projection that springs from our id.
The “id,” is the third leg of Freud’s tripartite of ego and superego. ID, literally “that” in Latin, refers to that part of the mind in which the primary processes and primitive, instinctual impulses are manifest. The id is the primitive and instinctive component of personality. It consists of all the inherited (i.e., biological) components of personality present at birth, including the sexual instinct – Eros (which contains the libido), and the aggressive (death) instinct – Thanatos.
The id is the impulsive (and unconscious) part of our psyche which responds directly and immediately to basic urges, needs, and desires. The personality of the newborn child is all id and only later does it develop an ego and super-ego. The id remains infantile in its function throughout a person’s life and does not change with time or experience, as it is not in touch with the external world. The id is not affected by reality, logic or the everyday world, as it operates within the unconscious part of the mind.
The id operates on the pleasure principle described by Freud, which is the idea that every wishful impulse should be satisfied immediately, regardless of the consequences. When the id achieves its demands, we experience pleasure when it is denied we experience ‘unpleasure’ or tension. The id engages in primary process thinking, which is primitive, illogical, irrational, and fantasy oriented. This form of process thinking has no comprehension of objective reality, and is selfish and wishful in nature.
It is from this aspect of the human personality that individuals craft their personal vision of their “shadow self” brought to the fore. Specific modes of dress and temporary body modifications are an indication of the Id’s activity in a person’s life. They will most often portray their “shadow” in manner of dress, often counter to the norms of the day, hair that is in opposition to the norm, or an extreme style that will make them stand out from the rest. Quite often, they will model behaviors specifically crafted to shock or offend. The offense they project toward the society they despise is reflected back toward them in a self perpetuating cycle that can only be broken by surrender and assimilation or, most often, a feigned acceptance of cultural mores and a closeting of culturally offensive behaviors to allow for greater earning potentials.
For most, the “monsters from the id” recede with maturation and the ever increasing dominance of survival needs that cannot be provided for by one’s personal support providers, but must be earned through one’s own skills and efforts. The id remains an influence throughout a person’s life, but is sublimated by the ego and superego, as one finds the need to cope with the cultural, financial and social aspects of life. They “put away childish things” to gain the trappings of emergent affluence and influence in one’s life. Where the younger person might use visual bodily cues (hair style, tattoos, etc) to display one’s personal vision of self, the late adolescent to adult person might employ items of conspicuous consumption (expensive clothing, cars , homes, etc). In one’s youth, a tricked out car might provide the visual interest one wishes to project. As an adult, my Lincoln Town Car might serve the same purpose.
Anyone can create a caricature of themselves simply by being what everyone would like you to be in their most uncomplimentary visions. And there a plenty of people on the Left-Hand Path who are more than willing to oblige. Caricatures might be interesting for a while, and occasionally amusing, but they seldom if ever evolve beyond the limitations of their self imposed image.
Character is something that a caricature never has. Character is developed over time and reflects the moral qualities distinct to that individual. When we speak of someone with character, we honor that person for their honest and forthright nature, whether we agree with them or not. Their reputation is beyond reproach, and we wish to emulate them in the way that they not only exhibit qualities that are positive and demonstrable of that character we hold in esteem.
While the brash and bombastic caricature might he a time tested and stereotypical depiction of some who walk the Left-Hand Path, it is the person with character that stands forth as a beacon to those who value discipline, and search for enlightenment through earnest study and application of the truths that they have found. We learn from them and seek what wisdom they might share, whereas when we encounter a caricature, we might smile, perhaps chuckle at their antics, but seldom, if ever take them seriously. This isn’t to say that people with character aren’t friendly, or that they don’t have a sense of humor, but these facets of their personality are enhanced by their character, and not replacements for character. The world laughs with them, and not at them, and there is definitely a difference.
Those of you who’ve come to The Sect of the Horned God and, having viewed the videos of Thomas LeRoy or Lisa Corrine, our own Mistress Babylon, can see that they are persons of character and quality. They lead by example, and that example is always thoughtful, well reasoned, and dedicated to each other and the organization that they have founded. They’re generous with their knowledge and enlightenment, and dispense it with kindness and humor that is sorely lacking in many Left-Hand Path organizations. The’ve gathered around them a cadre of administrators and staff that share in those qualities as well.
Strive to be a person of character, and resist the urge to be a caricature, especially when it plays into the expectations and degrading visions of those who look down on us with scorn from their positions of assumed superiority. Those who walk the Left-Hand Path take a back seat to no one when they do so with courage and conviction, in search of truth and enlightenment, resisting the temptation to take the paths well worn by the herd.