sketch robot

Who’s Mike Stop Continues?

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
– Joseph Campbell

There was a time before I knew either my true calling or my true name, and I floundered like a space fish in the atmosphere. I knew I didn’t know, and I couldn’t content myself with the dazzling euphoria of slow oxygen death. I knew I couldn’t, ashamed as I am to say, because of how hard I tried.

So I went looking for the truth. But I was blind, and I was deaf, and I was just too sensitive. So I blurred my eyes with visions, and I clogged my ears with songs, and I forgot the world I knew. I dove down deep,  the Lethe’s billowing foams wiping all away, and it was then that I discovered.

I risked all to find that shifting center, to it unearth and draw up, up, up, and on. I risked all, and when I surfaced, panting, bloodied, spent in the arms of the seashore, I knew my task was not complete. It was not enough to have this truth; I knew too I had to share, not it, but the path one takes to find it.

I knew because I know what I am, and who: a mythmaker, an artifactor, a bard.

Mythmaker

“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.”
– Joseph Campbell

I was born in the year of the Domain Name System (DNS): the year of the asymptote of the singularity. The world changed irrevocably in 1984, and the relationship between the people who inhabit it.

While the old myths have not tarnished those stories of Enki and Odysseus and Gatsby they are no longer enough. Humanity has entered a new state of being; we are no longer at the beginning, but the end. While the eons of myth come before can offer us a glimpse of what we are, none can anticipate where we’re headed. We are at the edge of infinity, and only the artists of today, of the internet generation, have any hope of guiding humanity through the troubles we only now can see, as the horizon bends towards the sky.

Gone is the art of the old; the world is in need of the new.

Artifactor

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”
– Joseph Campbell

It’s not enough to discover the secrets of our existence. It’s not enough to hermitage and meditate the years away as the heavens fall around us. It’s not enough to know. We have a responsibility not only to explore, not only to learn, but to encode the fruits of our exploration into enduring and accessible, if sometimes challenging, forms.

We must leave a trail of breadcrumbs towards eternity, towards utopia, for there is no guarantee the outside world will get there if we the artists, the shamans, the forerunners don’t show them how.

Bard

“Our true reality is in our identity and unity with all life.”
– Joseph Campbell

Never has the bardic tradition been as strong as it is today. The people of the internet are called pirates, but in truth, they are bards, synthesizing the passing stories and songs and images of the global community into new forms, travelling from server to server to share their unique understanding of the world. If a bard is guilty of anything, it’s not stealing, but sharing, teaching, enhancing. The original survives, and the world is richer for the multiplicity of perspectives, and the exponential growth of that ever-amassing human legacy.

It is the unique responsibility of every human being to become, in his own way, a bard—to contribute to the sum total of all human culture and knowledge as much and as often as he or she draws from it. To do any less, or worse, to hinder the process, is not only a crime against the world at present, it’s a crime against boundless future as well.