Price Of Prophecy

All you need to do to be a prophet is to listen more to the still, small voice of your creator, leading from the voice that transcends nice, compliant normalcy.

This doesn’t necessarily make you a good prophet, as the voice you hear might be twisted, dark, ego laden, full of pain & vengeance and rather satanic.  It is up to you to get clear on if the voice is coming from the dark side or the light side, working to get right with some higher understanding.   Joseph Campbell reminds us that most human myths contain the same shared knowledge, awareness resisted because of the cost of claiming demanding truth over isolating comfort.

Still, when you drop out of social norms, resisting the pressure to play along, standing for something deeper and more powerful, you have to pay the price of a prophet in the world.

That price, of course, is loneliness.  You can’t both be a happy member of the crowd, just following the group and stand proud for some inner truth at the same time.

Being a prophet requires you to lead, somehow, finding people who will stand with you, valuing the unique voice that you offer.

This is when prophecy can go bad, when you decide to tell the people what they want to hear, offering a message of separation, of fear, of us versus them, of insiders and outsiders, of rationalized entitlement of believers and attack of challengers.    It is always much easier to energize the ego than to demand personal enlightenment, ask for individual responsibility, engage challenge and act from embracing love.

Still, even when you lead and are valued for leading, you still speak against the status quo, still open yourself up to personal attacks, and still come from a place of unique experience and knowledge.   These are the truths of a prophet, the facts of following that still, small voice within.

Trans emergence is always a very individual journey, a path beyond gendered expectations and towards expressing a personal truth that comes from deep within.   Even when we just dream of moving from one box to another, just going that route across the divide takes us across no-man’s/no-woman’s land, a place where we have only our internal compass to guide us.

No trans kid goes to bed at night dreaming of being a prophet.   We dream of being seen, being beautiful, being strong, being loved.  It’s when we realize that we have to be a prophet, listening to that voice inside and walking on our own journey away from expectations to what we understand to be integration and wholeness that we begin to resist the calling, usually the beginning of getting very, very good at resisting and temporizing.

I have been listening to the voices of prophets recently.

David Blight’s Pulitzer Prize winning “Frederick Douglass, Prophet Of Freedom,” gives deep insight into the cost of being a prophet in the world, fighting resistance even from people who claim to support what you are fighting for.

Caitlyn Jenner made global headlines for being alone when she crossed the bridge out of “I’m a Celebrity! Get Me Out Of Here!” Even people who don’t understand the experience of being trans in the world saw the loneliness of someone whose family needs to stay stuck in profitable routines rather than be there for someone who was there for them.

And ShamanGal has been dealing with the family of a school friend who hung himself.   As one of the only people from that old crowd to take the journey into self-knowledge and self-expression, she can understand why this veteran carried his wounds silently rather than doing the work of breaking out of family routine to explore his personal hell. She has been there, doing a eulogy and personal support for those who have stayed stuck, having to process her own feelings of isolation and invisibility even while serving others as best she can.

The price of prophecy is high.  Gaining a clear vision of the world as we go through our own hell  — the only way out of hell is through — means that our sight is forever changed, annealed in the fire that burns away rationalization. Once your eyes have been opened, though, the thought of going back to insistent ignorance seems not only impossible but very painful.

“We are a full service medical organization,” a therapist said to me many years ago.  “I can check off a box on this form to get you a lobotomy.  Is that what you really want?”

His joke touched a truth.   I  have paid much too much for my hard earned awareness to simply lose it now.

This is why any seemingly simple solution where I surrender my individual voice to a group identity, no matter how nice or plush that membership may seem, is just impossible for me, no matter how lonely, isolated, or hermetic I feel in the moment.

To be a prophet is to try and return the gift of enlightenment to a world that doesn’t want upset or change.   The challenge of being both tame, a well integrated member of the community, and wild, with a unique and vibrant voice, is a massive challenge that costs many prophets just altogether too much blood & spirit.

I remember a fellow at a yoga retreat I was forced into telling me that I seemed like a prophet and from what he read,  god puts prophets through hard times.   Now, I know, though, that god is a constant comfort to prophets, but society knows how to put them through hard times.

All you need to do to be a prophet is to listen more to the still, small voice of your creator, leading from the voice that transcends nice, compliant normalcy.

The price of leading with profound, deep, different and challenging truth, though, always comes with a very high cost.

Thank creator, then, that there have always been some willing to do it, to serve a wider world by sharing a hard won vision,

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