The Trickster

I read a book called “Trickster Makes This World,” by Lewis Hyde.

It was like being psychoanalyzed. I mean he had laid it all out. And then I realized that most everybody here shared those same qualities because really what trickster is, is an agent of change. Trickster is a change agent.

And the qualities that I’m about to describe are the qualities that make it possible to make change happen. And one of these is boundary crossing.

But I like to cross boundaries. I like to talk about things I know nothing about.

And I think it’s good to talk about things I know nothing about, because I bring a fresh viewpoint to it, you know? I’m able to see the contradiction that you may not be able to see.

Like for instance a mime (or a meme as he called himself – he was a very selfish meme). And he said that I had to show more respect because it took up to 18 years to learn how to do mime properly. And I said, “Well, that’s how you know only stupid people go into it.”
(It only takes two years to learn how to talk.)

When you’re only surrounded by people who speak the same vocabulary as you, or share the same set of assumptions as you, you start to think that that’s reality.
A go-between is an actual quality of the trickster. And another is, non-oppositional strategies.

And this is instead of contradiction.

Where you deny the other person’s reality, you have paradox where you allow more than one reality to coexist, such as a sign that I saw in a jewelry store. It said, “Ears pierced while you wait.”

There the alternative just boggles the imagination.

“Oh no. Thanks though, I’ll leave them here. Thanks very much. I have some errands to run. So I’ll be back to pick them up around five, if that’s OK with you.

Huh? Huh? What? Can’t hear you.”

The trickster has a mind that is prepared for the unprepared. That, and I will say this to the scientists, that the trickster has the ability to hold his ideas lightly so that he can let room in for new ideas or to see the contradictions or the hidden problems with his ideas.
I like to make change, and that is in making connections.

In the Newtonian universe — there are two attributes of matter in the Newtonian universe — one is space occupancy. Matter takes up space. I guess the more you matter the more space you take up, which explains the whole SUV phenomenon.

And the other one though is impenetrability.
Well, in ancient Rome, impenetrability was the criterion of masculinity. Masculinity depended on you being the active penetrator.

And then, in economics, there’s an active producer and a passive consumer, which explains why business always has to penetrate new markets. Well yeah, I mean why USA forced China to open her markets. And didn’t that feel good?

And now we’re being penetrated.

Have you heard this joke about the woman driving with her mother? And the mother is elderly. And the mother goes right through a red light. And the daughter doesn’t want to say anything. She doesn’t want to be like, “You’re too old to drive.” And the mother goes through a second red light. And the daughter says, as tactfully as possible, “Mom, are you aware that you just went through two red lights?” And the mother says, “Oh! Am I driving?”

Sometimes trickster can tip over into beauty. But to do that you have to lose all the other qualities because once you’re into beauty you’re into a finished thing.

You’re into something that occupies space and inhabits time. It’s an actual thing. And it is always extraordinary to see a thing of beauty.

But if you don’t do that, if you allow for the accident to keep on happening, you have the possibility of getting on a wavelength. I like to think of what I do as a probability wave. When you go into beauty the probability wave collapses into one possibility. And I like to explore all the possibilities in the hope that I’ll be on the wavelength of my audience.

Emily Levine