The Nature of the Beast

I am well familiar with beasts, at least the two-legged variety. I am one of them.

My Father was a beast, of the highest order - I can't mince words about that now. In public, he came off like a 'man of the people', very popular, well respected, and seemingly a chaste, kind, gentle, and peaceful man.

It was all a lie.

Now, many decades later, I have to look inward and discover, to my horror, that I am a lot like him. That makes perfect sense, at least on one level - I am his son. I carry his genes, his ancestry, and his heritage. And yet, that misguided man was capable of such wrath, such horror, such violence, anquish, pain, and torment that I have, thankfully, never really experienced at all. A foolish man says "Oh, that's interesting" and goes back to his X-Box game. The one seeking wisdom, however, is forced to examine this strange contradiction closer and ask himself "Why?", or in my case, "Why Not?"

To this day, I don't have all the answers and possibly all I have is more suspicions than concrete truth. But even those might prove illuminating and useful to one seeking wisdom. I've never actually sat down and even tried to itemize these, until starting to write this article. Because of that, you and I, reader, get to share a special moment in 'Stream of Consciousness', now.

We're BOTH going to read this piece at the same time. I, however, am also writing it WHILE I read it.

I've said, elsewhere on this site, that my Father was a huge influence on the positive direction of my life, albeit a 'reverse' one. What he did, I don't. What he liked, I abhor. What he hated, I cleave to. That's possibly a shallow evaluation, I confess, but it has worked well for me. He may have been a troubled, misguided, and sad man in his day, but he was an excellent role model, of sorts; just in reverse.

So why haven't I followed in his footsteps? I know the base tendances are there. I'm no fool. I feel them, every day of my life. But where he gave in so easily to what I like to think of as 'The Nature of the Beast', I've luckily almost always been able to avoid those same impulses, or correct them quickly when they did appear.

For starters, I've always been blessed with, in varying degrees, with the ability to recognize and admit that these same tendancies existed in me. They exist in us all, to some degree, but some manage to avoid allowing them to dominate their lives. A precious few in this world manage to avoid them nearly completely.

My Father, however, was a veritable master at self-justification. He was quite skilled at avoiding and facing up to his own faults, or even acknowledging that they existed at all. I suppose learning THAT skill might have been easier for me, than him: I had the horror and pain of my own early abuse to kick-start that little bit of self-examination.

Family might have had something to do with it, as well. I had my two younger brothers to share life experiences with, and to help the lot of us find some little bit of adventure, joy, safety, and camaderie in the midst of all that darkness. To the best of my knowledge, my Father never had that benefit. He had relatives but no other siblings. There were times in my youth when the three of us would sometimes purposely lie to our parents in order to spare one of us a beating, if that brother had been the recipient too many times. We would take turns, at times, volunteering to be the 'bad guy'; to 'share the wealth', as it were. That was a huge benefit to us, and one that he never had.

As the character 'Madam Gailyn Tenn' says in my novel, 'Ceylo Krinn and the Fourth Faction', "When a person is alone, they only hear ONE voice, and it's never wrong.." Dad was always utterly alone.

My own Father, on the other hand, had a Dad who was a gentle, humorous, Saint of a man. We called him 'Puppa', and he was one of the most wonderful men I've ever had the joy of knowing. While I had the example of my disfunctional family to guide me to a whole different path, he may have had the reverse, in his own early time. It's natural for teenagers and young adults to rebel against their authority as they approach adulthood: Maybe his rebellion was too severe or too entrenched. He rebelled against good and became evil. I, thankfully, chose the opposite path.

I had some family members, including my Mother, who though rarely able to ever prevent any of this at least recognized it enough to show the opposite choice to me; to guide me, albeit hesitantly, to a different path.

Another contributing factor may have been the result of my Father's curse: From an early teenager, my younger brothers and I were forced to take charge of our own lives. When Dad was on a rampage and Mom disappeared upstairs, often for years at a time, my two brothers and I ran the household. I worked, after school, to bring home money for groceries and soap. Another brother tended to the lawn and household repairs. The third donned an apron and took charge of the interior of the house.

There were periods when this was not so, but in general, that's the way it was for a very long time, during our formative years. It's a fate no considerate person would want a teenager to endure, at least not for long, but it did help us to become independant, self-sufficient (to a degree), and seperate us from the harmful influence that was corrupting the rest of our family.

It's incredibly difficult to become self-centered, egotistical, vain, pretentious, arrogant, violent, and haughty when you're fighting for your home and health, day in and day out. It amazes me, to this day, that it didn't cause the three of us to slide into a trap of pity, despair, and frustration.

One last possible influence might have been the very thing that has, many decades later, led to this website. My eyes were inward, even in those days: I was the dreamer, the musician, the writer, the poet. Whether skilled or not, a person who dreams looks across the veil of the dimensions that lock us temporarily into this material world we find ourselves in, and once you've had a glimpse of that beautiful truth, it's awfully hard to give in to brute, violent, and physical desires and motivations; at least on a regular, habitual basis.

The musician crafts the voice of the angels; the writer reveals to all those very things a more base person tries to conceal; the poet drags the hidden emotions within us out into the brilliant light of day: Hear that voice, see those hidden things, and feel those emotions, and a door is opened in front of you that can never be closed again...

Perhaps that door is what permitted my escape. Perhaps that door, still wide open, permits my escape even now, and hopefully will, well into my own future.

Whether by example, family devotion, circumstance, or inspiration, I have been lucky enough to catch a glimpse or two of something that most people never sense or suspect: We are FAR, FAR MORE than flesh and bone, and the troubles we struggle with now often prove themselves, in the future, to be a positive influence, one that guides us towards the stars, during our own 'Infinite Voyage'. That knowledge inspires us. That certain truth lifts us up above the three dimensional with all its struggles, if we allow it to.

All the beast knows is the earth and his own pleasures and desires. He fights his whole life long in two dimensions, never sensing the third and never even dreaming of the fourth dimension or beyond. It blinds him to the purpose we have placed ourselves on this ball of rock for, in the first place: to advance our souls, to merge the Self with the All, to experience a more noble purpose, and to lift ourselves above the base and towards the ethereal.

Teach yourself, your loved ones, and your children THAT lesson and perhaps the awful, tragic fate of my Father can slowly begin to die away with him, and be seen less often in our own future travels....