Dear Kali, Je suis Charlie …
Charlie suffers from strange disease. Out of compassion, he assumed the identity he can’t shake off. To make matters worse, it is an identity of French satirical magazine. What to do? Kali Durga to the rescue!
I should start by introducing myself, but I can’t. Namely, all I can say about myself is that I don’t know what to say. And that precisely is my problem, the reason I hereby apply for Your wise council: I changed my name so many times that I simply can’t pinpoint the real one anymore. Of course, I could rely on my passport entry, but then I would be forced to fixate my identity and thereby restrict freedom of being who I want to be. And, as You doubtlessly know, such freedom is a duty of every upstanding person. To help you with making Your diagnosis: the symptoms broke out yesterday, in the wake of terrorist slaughter in France. As I caught wind of what has happened, through FB and Twitter feed, I dutifully engaged my obligations as a free person. I was the first among my friends, both meatballs and virtual, who put “Je suis Charlie” as my profile picture. Happy as I was for being so quick to affirm both my freedom and my compassion, something eerie happened. I realized that I don’t remember who I was before exercising my right to identity, i.e. I forgot what was my name when I previously exercised the same right. Now I am stuck with the name “Charlie”. I like to be a French satirical magazine for a day or two, but I don’t want to spend my entire life as one. After all, what if something else happens soon, for example if some Muslim kid gets beaten up by Islamophobes, and I can’t become him for a day or so? I would not only be prevented in exercising my freedom, but also I’ll be guilty of neglecting my duty. Please great Goddess, heed my plea and tell me what to do! How can I get my identity back? I don’t want to spend the rest of my life as a French Magazine.
Charlie (for now)
so many “I’s”, “me’s” and “mine’s” in your letter make my diagnosis all too easy. But before I zero-in on true nature of your malady, allow me to elaborate on circumstances and future prevention – or lack thereof – of this peculiar pest. The first sign of gonorrheia identitaria, known amongst vulgar as “identity clap”, is overuse of personal pronouns in all kinds of Internet posts. While constantly trying to express his or hers symptoms – erosion of identity or unwanted fixation on a single identity, as is the case with you – the patient suffers compulsive inflation of personal pronouns, whose uncontrollable outpour we experts call “Identity vomit”. In your case, petite, we can clearly observe the advanced stage of the disease, i.e. the moment when malady becomes apparent both to patient and observers. Patient, naturally, reacts with fear, while observers develop either overwhelming sense of compassion towards both patient and themselves, or growing irritation. It is a point, therefore, at which we can speak of possible epidemics. The compassion symptom indicates either that those close to you – virtually or otherwise – are already diseased, or that you just infected them. The irritation, however, indicates to a natural or acquired immunity. As a Goddess of death and destruction, I am not at all disposed to propose a vaccination, moreover because the spread of this disease suits me fine, but as you are probably beyond cure, I’ll give you a rundown on your own case. It will not ease your suffering but will probably teach you to embrace and love it.
We’ll then, dear Charlie (for now), you say you can’t remember who you are (see how pronouns pour out). Your pains are therefore accompanied by overwhelming sense of unreality. Your natural reaction is of course to retain that sense; to get a grip on oneself, so to speak. Problem is, however, that there is nothing to get the grip of. Identity claps, despite it’s rather benign name, is a disease that kills identity by inflating it. It is transmitted in all kinds of ways, from sharing Facebook posts to watching TV with infected person, but they are all rooted in an inborn trait of human race: it’s self-love. I can already hear you say:”But no! My identity crisis came about precisely because I exercised love towards my fellow men!”
You are gravely mistaken Shudra, you exercised nothing of the sort.
The things you call compassion or love are merely symptoms of your acquired inability to feel real compassion and love anymore.
Allow Me to clarify. Compassion and love are human traits of mysterious descent, but definite properties. You see, only exceptional men and women are able to exercise them beyond the scope of their friends and relatives. Nothing wrong with that, bearing in mind the humans are finite beings. The all-embracing love is a property of a morally and, one could argue, ontologically advanced being your forefathers called ‘the saint’. Saint acquired this mysterious ability by so-called ‘participation’ on divine Love, made possible by good old J.C. whose recent birthday, I imagine, you celebrated by some form of mockery comment or cartoon. So, if he is not a saint, the best the average man can hope for is being able to love his neighbour. And, believe Me, it’s all for the best, because to have heart so wide and so deep as to embrace all that suffering going on, from the beginnings of man towards unknown future, wouldn’t make anybodies identity very comfortable. The problem with you, and those of your ilk, lies in the fact that all your identities are emulations of sainthood. While you have no problem in looking the other way when somebody beats the crap out of your neighbour, you readily assume the virtual responsibility to exercise compassion towards somebody you never met. More often than not, that ‘somebody’ is something entirely invented by media, i.e. something entirely unreal.
Confused? Of course you are confused. Confusion is the only duty and the only freedom you are allowed. Identity claps is simply a logical consequence of being free from love and compassion. Namely, young Aristotle, in all his confusion about true nature of man, righty said that soul is “in a sense, all things”. Well, if it’s true – and I being in possession of Divine perception, albeit marred by my evil nature, assure you it is true – then your changing identities are nothing peculiar or bad in themselves. You simply identify with what is akin to your nature. While average man retains his nature throughout his life, simply by being consequent in his thought and action, and saint melts himself in Divine Love, the person suffering from identity claps is changing his nature according to his arbitrary whims because he renounced any definite notion of human nature. So, for instance, you want to be loved by your Facebook friends when somebody starts slaughtering Christians in Iraq and you take identity of Iraq Christian, signified by ever present image of certain Arab letter. When that gets old, you get wind about Gypsies getting beaten up by somebody, and you use an identity of the Gypsy flag – you know, the wheel. Think about the sentences “I am Charlie” and “we are all Charlie”. From the standpoint of your original nature, the only way you can become so many people at once is that you yourself cease to be a definite person. It is not a metaphor, my little maggot. You are actually becoming all these people because you are no one. By emptying yourself of all your inborn features – your original self – you are able to absorb and emulate things like images of other people, symbols, ideas and, at finally, French magazines. You can be all you want to be only on condition that you cease to be. In another words, identity claps allows you to see yourself as Superman of morality, at the expense of both your humanity and your morality.
But I digress. Philosophical concepts are, unfortunately, necessary to explain such vile malady and I tend to get carried away. In plain words: dear Charlie (for now), don’t worry about your identity. You’ll find a new one soon enough, when Europe ignites with violence. All this could have been avoided if people like you could have listened to reason. But that eventuality is now forfeit. The circle of hate will spiral viciously at ever increasing speed. Don’t worry about that. Hateful and violent identities are essentially the same as compassionate and loving ones for someone like you. If push comes to show, you’ll skip them effortlessly. Because, you little piece of shit, only nothing comes from nothing and all nothings are the same. Your sickness is not unto death, because you are already dead. Your name has no meaning anymore. But you won’t be a French magazine for the rest of your life. I am certain that, even while I write these lines, you already became something else.
So stop worrying and enjoy your life. This sickness is not unto death. The only limit is the boredom of it all. And when it becomes too much … well, you’ll know what to do.