by Gary 'Z' McGee
you who have seceded from society,
you shall one day be a people.
who have chosen out yourselves,
shall a chosen people spring...
and from this chosen people,
Contrarians tend to be those who get caught in the cruel spokes of the Wheel of Vicissitude, dragged through the muck and mire of unexpected change and instilled with a particular flavor of courage and resilience that,
1.) Comfort makes you uncomfortable
For you, security is overrated. So are safety and comfort for that matter.
But you are especially averse to too much comfort.
You realize that stagnant comfort leads to complacency, malaise, laziness, ennui, nihilism, and an even longer list of anxieties. Worst of all, it propagates and exacerbates tiny comfort zones.
It's not that you are against routine. Not at all.
You are simply against any routine that leads to stagnation, laziness, or contentedness. Any routine that becomes a rut must be rerouted. Because you don't want the journey to end.
For you, the journey truly is 'the thing.' All things in moderation, to include comfort.
You understand that living too comfortably tends to lead to living immoderately.
2.) You flip the script through sacred clowning
Whether you are a modern Heyoka or any other type of sacred clown, contrarianism is foremost within you.
One moment you are Loki twisting God's brains into knots.
The next minute,
3.) You nonconform to yourself
The 'don't-know mind' is strong in you. Especially regarding yourself.
You understand more than most that the self is masks all the way down perceiving delusions all the way up. You cannot know all the masks, just as you cannot know all of your delusions.
So as not to get stuck within any particular mask or delusion, you keep aware of your own fallibility, hypocrisy, and naivety. It keeps you open and flexible, and better able to adapt and overcome.
You are adamant about healthy self-overcoming. There is no fixed self. Who you are today must overcome who you were yesterday so that who you become tomorrow can keep the cycle of overcoming going. It keeps you ahead of the curve.
It's self-improvement through the medium of transcendence. It's the determination to become healthier and more robust than you were before.
So that Eudaimonia, antifragility, and the Overman always remain possibilities.
4.) You would rather be courageous than good
The good man, the content man, wants to conserve outdated ideals, traditions, and old gods.
The contrarian, the courageous man, wants to create new virtues, and new gods. Therefore, all progress depends upon the courageous man.
Thus, as a contrarian, you would rather be courageous than good. You would rather have some updated good come from your courage than remain good and recycle outdated good.
As James Russell Lowell said,
As such, your contrarianism is in flow with the passage of time.
Change is inevitable?
There is no permanence?
Could some 'new bad' come from your courage? Sure.
But contrarianism is not for the risk-averse herd. It is for those with the courage to launch themselves beyond the 'good and evil' of the herd and into that field where Rumi waits beyond 'rightdoing and wrongdoing.'
There, in that field, your true contrarian colors shine, and all hope for a healthy evolution for your species holds out.
5.) You follow the No-way of the Middle Way
Contrarians do not have 'a way.'
But if they did, it would be the Middle Way:
It is the way of No-way.
Most of all, No-way is entertaining a 'way' without accepting it.
Your contrarianism keeps you open to all paths even as it is unaccepting of none.
This keeps you fleet-footed and free and flying by the seat of your pants. And though you may sometimes lose your pants, at least you never fall victim to the whimsical delusions and extremisms of the herd.
Instead, you ride the wave of change over it all, with a bird's-eye view, going full-frontal Meta, with a humor of the most high.
6.) You mock all slaves, tyrants, and gods
Your persistent moderation (to include moderation) keeps you balanced on a wire over the human condition.
From this height, you gain a bird's-eye view of the big picture.
Especially slavery, tyranny, and blind faith.
You do the same with authority, challenging it at every turn.
To include, especially, the greatest authority of all - God. You understand that the outdated notion of God must be roasted to ashes so that the mighty phoenix of a new God might emerge.
Thus, your contrarianism towards all gods keeps the concept of God fresh and new, vibrant and vital, in a kind of godly life-death-rebirth process.
7.) You would rather laugh than believe
At the end of the day, your contrarian high humor is your saving grace.
It gives you the courage to transform fear into fuel for the fire of a life well-lived. It gives you existential resilience.
Without even blinking an eye, you dance with your demons, laugh into abysses, skip through Dark Nights of the Soul with bells on, and mischievously swap the devil's heart out with God's.
Your laughter is a mighty howl in a dwarfing cosmos. It's a sword through the Achilles' Heel of boredom and nihilism. It's doubled-edged, making the gamble of life all the more exciting.
And while the herd-like majority stumbles through a life half-lived, with their certitudes and comforts and so-called answers, you keep your edge by laughing, and laughing often.
How could you not?
You leave belief to the status quo junkies and comfort addicts.
They believe, and the stronger they believe, the harder they become. Like stone. Like tanks with hidden but suffocating hearts. They believe, and the more they believe, the stronger their belief becomes, like a prison for the mind.
Reinforced by cognitive dissonance and an all-encompassing herd instinct.
They believe. And still, you laugh - uproariously, you laugh. You laugh with so much hope and with so much heat that it becomes a fire. Your hope is that a spark of your fire will catch the flimsy and fragile kindling of their belief.
Because you don't want to be the only one who is laughing at the cosmic joke.
Though you will if you have to.