Monday, June 6, 2011


A reader linked to these selections from “Trickster: Trickster Makes This World Mischief, Myth, and Art,” by Lewis Hyde. From the review, the book appears to be an interesting account of some of the mythology that predates evolutionary biology with regards to how predator/prey relationships shake up the status quo. Although the selections are definitely worth reading in their entirety, here’s a taste of what it covers:
The trickster myth derives creative intelligence from appetite. It begins with a being whose main concern is getting fed and it ends with the same being grown mentally swift, adept at creating and unmasking deceit, proficient at hiding his tracks and at seeing through the devices used by others to hide theirs. Trickster starts out hungry, but before long he is master of the kind of creative deception that, according to a long tradition, is a prerequisite of art.
In Evolution of the Brain and Intelligence, Harry Jerison presents a striking chart showing the relative intelligence of meat-eaters and the herbivores they prey on. Taking the ratio of brain to body size as a crude index, Jerison finds that if we compare herbivores and carnivores at any particular moment in history the predators are always slightly brainier than the prey. But the relationship is never stable; there is a slow step-by-step increase in intelligence on both sides. If we chart the brain-body ratio on a scale of 1 to 10, in the archaic age herbivores get a 2 and carnivores a 4; thirty million years later the herbivores are up to 4 but the carnivores have gone up to 6; another thirty million years and the herbivores are up to 6 but the carnivores are up to 8; finally, when the herbivores get up to 9, the carnivores are up to 10. The hunter is always slightly smarter, but the prey is always wising up. In evolutionary theory, the tension between predator and prey is one of the great engines that has driven the creation of intelligence itself, each side successively and ceaselessly responding to the other.
After many stories of how Trickster accomplishes his tricks and the effects that Trickster has on “society”, a few words on what it all means for Trickster:

In all these stories, trickster must do more than feed his belly; he must do so without himself getting eaten. Trickster's intelligence springs from appetite in two ways; it simultaneously seeks to satiate hunger and to subvert all hunger not its own. This last is an important theme. In the Okanagon creation story, the Great Spirit, having told Coyote that he must show the New People how to catch salmon, goes on to say: "I have important work for you to do ... There are many bad creatures on earth. You will have to kill them, otherwise they will eat the New People. When you do this, the New People will honor you ... They will honor you for killing the People-devouring monsters and for teaching ... all the ways of living." In North America, trickster stepped in to defeat the monsters who used to feed on humans.

The myth says, then, that there are large, devouring forces in this world, and that trickster's intelligence arose not just to feed himself but to outwit these other eaters. Typically, this meeting is oppositional--the prey outwitting the predator. The bait thief suggests a different, nonoppositional strategy. Here trickster feeds himself where predator and prey meet, but rather than entering the game on their terms he plays with its rules. Perhaps, then, another force behind trickster's cunning is the desire to remove himself from the eating game altogether, or at least see how far out he can get and still feed his belly (for if he were to stop eating entirely he would no longer be trickster).


  1. The trick when dealing with a Trickster is to admire his cunning as you place a parcel of food into his mouth. Now he is called a pet. The trick to being a Trickster is to remember life and its mythos if ultimately a comedy.

  2. Ah, this is good. See, we are needed! It's as I've always said, and I love this author for having pointed it out too.
    In fact, there're multitudes of facts and stories throughout time and mythology that shows it.

    It also exemplifies what I say about balance. I'll take a look at those books. :)

    I'm not sure what the idea about Trickster removing himself from the feeding game altogether signifies. Surely he wouldn't be Trickster if he did, he wouldn't be anything, he wouldn't be at all, would he?!


    good point about the Comedy. That's something most people seem to have a really great problem with. Everything is so serious, especially when they're the prey. - Dammit, we're all prey sometimes. We lost a lot when we began listening to the black priests of Christ. Just look at what it's brought us. I almost understand the young goth kids who become devil worshipers.

  3. mischief + myth + (postmodern) art + a spot of world-making = verrry tricky

  4. Soulful, You read like Parabola.

    See also, Jung and the Tarrot: chapter 1, The Fool. In one sense, the most powerful in court. He has the king's ear and speaks truth in humor.

  5. I love this post!

    The dreaded "boyfriend collector," other women fear, the one that ends up friends with all ex lovers, not getting trapped, yet keeping them.

    I have heard of their dangerous manipulations.

    Friends with the predator.

    "I want you to know i really enjoy spending time with you" (as they inch their way to the other side of the cab, staring into space, not knowing what to do with this threatening individual...)

    Trickster fools the predator into a playmate, companion, and mutually beneficial relationship with similar world views/goals.

    Horrible way to live.

  6. And heaven forbid you say: "I'm joking. Why so sensitive? i swear, it just came tumbling out of my mouth!"
    Please come closer, and don't hurt me, because I mean to please, and keep you, and be all the things you like. What kind of tricks can I do for you? Just tell me what you like. I can deliver. Oh, that isn't the kind of relationship you were after. You want someone simple. Oh. And someone who doesn't try so hard. Oh. I can do that. Give me a minute while I read your mind. Oh, all of the above is too complicated. I can be simple and say very little, and not embarrass you in front of the normals, i swear! Oh, it's too difficult to imagine. Your loss. I guess I am WAY too eccentric. Y'know what? You're a fuckin bore. Can't wait till you're out of the cab completely.

  7. "You ain't no mind reader. Shut it, take yo pills. Ahm tired, Ahm hungry, gimmee a sodie pop!"

  8. Zhawq, please explain what you mean by "the black priest of Christ" or discribe.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Bess + Sportin' LifeJune 6, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    The trick when dealing with a Trickster is to admire his cunning as you place a parcel of food into his mouth. Now he is called a pet.

    Soulful,  why is it that you bait? Catch, capture, and (presumably) release.  Do you seek these types exclusively or are they simply a favorite for the pleasure of the dance? 

    Trickster fools the predator into a playmate, companion, and mutually beneficial relationship with similar world views/goals.

     'Fools the predator' Bullshit,  Have a bit of faith in the Predator.   it is entirely possible to sate or amuse but it is a temporal thing, an uneasy (and at it's best highly comedic) alliance of greater benefit.  It is a fool who becomes bloated with pride of keeping or relies on the  safety of capture.

    Thanks for the suggested reading.  Perhaps you can tell us about who it is that  dances, on the fence,  between sheep and wolf? 

  11. Between wolf and sheep, well the foolish coyote of course!

    I do very much enjoy very intelligent men and women. Most are friends for a long time if they get me and if I don't out grow the friendship. The fool's folly is great for helping break up a person's personal dogma and encouraging them to lighten up and begin to understand themselves unconditionally. It has been an effective merit in both of my chosen fields. It's something I've grown into. And it's always a dance and never about capture on both sides.

    Romantic relationships I find for me are more fated and destiny calls. I have no theory on that one. I don't mind being the puppet of fate sometimes. Keeps it fresh. Keeps the mystery alive. Tidal waves have merit. The heart is a muscle. Builds character.

    Also look up his older work, "The Gift" Its about reciprocity. And the magical thinking logic behind its function. How is "path wiring" a gift?

  12. Soulful Path is a victim waiting to happen.
    When you are open minded to the point of naivete, put yourself in risky situations, and are codependant you are just waiting for a predator to come by and lock in on you.
    When you try to place a parcel of food in the tricksters mouth you are forgetting that you are part of the meal. That parcel was like chips and you are the fish. I hope you lather yourself in tartar sauce before you leave the house Soulful.

  13. I love to play tricks on people. It's almost a need for me. It seems like my whole life is one big magnificant trick. After so many smokecreens sometimes you feel like you've even blinded yourself. You live these parts you play as if they were real.
    When I talk it is mostly all bait. It's to try to get a reaction out of someone. A reaction I control. Whatever reaction I want at the time. People that spend a lot of time around me are stuck in me like quicksand. They can't leave, even though they are sinking. I'm like the bloody knife in the snow that the wolf licks till he bleeds to death. You are magnetized towards me and the games begin.

  14. Have you seen the video by Vaknin on how narcissists use language as a weapon, UKan? It seems to fit a few on here.

  15. Thank you for the vinegar Ukan. And the salt on my arrogance. Good show.

  16. duh...stupit, there r no "myths"...get your fuckin' head on straight....there is only "science" and "survival".....the more "intelligent" tend to survive.....duh!

    also, the "more intelligent" "know" how to make themselves "feel", and how to "manipulate" otherz without "legitimately" hurting them.

    and actually "use up" life "fully" by "feeling" the "best" they can 'till death.

    but remember fuckerz, free society has bullitz loaded, and if you become a totalitarian, like the stalin, mao, hitler, or anything similar.....then you will be removed from the "equation"...............think "casey anthony"......

    so, fuck all of u!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ...................../..../ /
    ..........''...\.......... _.•´

  17. Soulful, Thanks for your thoughtful response. Predators do in one sense keep their broken toys. As seen in the lovefraud fugitives who escape here. (To your point, they seem to suffer for their dogma.)

    Ukan: had the metaphor been anything other than fish or cheese... it seems you have caught the scent of a woman. It is easy to get out of quicksand, all that's required is a bit of patience. Tell us, do any meet your gaze and smile, as they move imperceptibly away?

    Anon: Vaknin on Language is excellent! Nothing quite like a a malignant narcissist revealing his tricks while continuing to use them. There is something to be said for language as a tool for segmenting populations or consciousness (as Ukan notes, almost everything he says is bait, inevitably some will react the desired way, others will not). While coded, his language still conveys a message, and he is probably very good at hitting his targets.

    I (had to use the personal pronoun at least once) will employ a spiraling complexity but as a game. It does on occasion trade off between form and function. Legal agreements have a drier tone, drug inserts are less ambiguous...fortunately, we can expect more inventive uses of language on a sociopath's message board, where it might be presumed that most-- narcissist and other -- would be inclined to revel in the volleys, ambiguity, and teasing inherent to seduction and other forms of persuasion.

    For the Vaknin video:

  18. UKan Speik FrilyJune 6, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    I just watched it and it bored me. Not that what he said wasnt true, but the fact that he had to make it so poetic just made me impatient for him to get to the point.
    Caught the scent of what women? Your statements are incomplete, lacking substance, and incoherent. However, if you stop beating around the bush I have no problem addressing your question. I can see why you like Vankins video.

  19. UKan has sucked cock....


  20. coyote ate anons cock because he was hungry

  21. Tricksters.



    Just have a look-see at the relationship betwixt them and wolves.

    The raven leads the wolf to prey, so that the wolves will tear open the flesh which they cannot.

    Wait and feed.

  22. Chairs masquerading as people hesitated to follow my from the unroadworthy car, until the paper woman was heartless with her rollicking!

  23. where is everyone

  24. Trolling on a celeb site, BRB.

  25. I know. She is the best whaa!

  26. Girl living in a tree with people is ethically challenged...fight for your right, be a beautiful eco terrorist.

  27. Yawn *shakes fist at painkillers slowing brain*

  28. Julia Butterfly Hill you are the raven waiting for the wolf's job to be done.

  29. 'Fools the predator' Bullshit, Have a bit of faith in the Predator. it is entirely possible to sate or amuse but it is a temporal thing, an uneasy (and at it's best highly comedic) alliance of greater benefit. It is a fool who becomes bloated with pride of keeping or relies on the safety of capture"

    Bess and sporting life, I am not an intellectual person and don't fully comprehend you here. But it seems interesting. Would you mind breaking this down for us simple folk?

  30. In predators, paranoia is an asset. No predator can survive for long with a rose-tinted, unquestioning view of the world.

    Yet care must be taken that paranoia doesn't slither through one’s mind leaving a slimy residue on which to slip over the edge of reason.

    As any predator becomes too common its tracks becomes known and its tricks remembered, but the faster the prey becomes, the faster the predator becomes...and so, ad infinitum.

  31. God is the greatest predator and we are all his lambs, happy, content and clever with all the 'individual' thoughts and principles that he put into our heads.

  32. ok. but i am a unhappy, stupid, unthinking, unprincpled, godless automaton malcontent. get ur facts strate!!

  33. Ok then you are out of the loop. Lucky you dumbass!

  34. I guess the lesson is to stay hungry, snake tame your fear and keep it fresh!

  35. Don't touch thisJune 7, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    (Doubt you're simple) but for your enjoyment: I like mine off the leash and at a distance.

    Beast, you do love to inhale those free spirits. Did you know, I can feel her (insufferable) pain? it pollutes the shade I find in your shadow. Do smudge.

    If you tell me her story I will exchange it for (quasi)delusional answers to questions of epistemology, Gin, and a flask for tears.

    (Doubt its of any interest)

  36. Good God, Don't Touch, you 'paths are all so cagey and irascible.

    Scuttle back to Beast's shadow and take your fables of gin-soaked tears with you, doubter of nothing. You're littering my screen with your constructivist fuckery.

    Smudge, smear, erase...oh really? I can feel your insufferable stupidity.

  37. Constructivist FuckeryJune 9, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    Zeric, Lizard with lace at your throat and the ambiguous floral cologne (as you appear, live, if cold-blooded, direct from my unconscious).  

    I  did ask politely after your hatching and hope you'll keep a ghost under quill long enough to scribe that gastro-memoir,  Of Mice and Minions, or if you prefer, molt and (too soon) be forgotten. 

  38. A revolt has been planned in your honor. Let us not forget to plan the banquet. Gin infused rose-tinted malcontent will be served in skull goblets. The perfect bon voyage.

  39. La Calotte Cranienne MignonnetJune 11, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    A postmortem? I'll wear sheepskin. Next fall.

    My honor Sir, requires neither banquet nor revolt. We will toast, as 'friends' do, to your voyage.

    Best Mindfuck of my life. Said with the gratitude of a well decorated room, seldom visited.

    & onward.

  40. No revolt? No banquet? Then a séance will be summoned to aid in the pleasure of this insufferable Mindfuck.

    That wolf, Talleyrand-Périgord will be evoked from the ethers to be our anthropomorphic judge to the nature of "onward"

  41. Yours is a sharp point, sheathed. Prey tell Touch, How is it to be Master of the only sport where your opponent determines the score?

  42. The grapes of wrath and rivalryJune 14, 2011 at 9:03 PM

    Silly maenad, then call again upon our dilettante devil Dionysus to count the score using the jewels forged in his ever flowing goblet. One only masters a sport which he wins or tires of. Of which category do you play?

    Oh do dare to Touch this inquisition fully.

    Or perhaps escapes the trickster's folly.

  43. I tire. "Wrath & Rivalry"  how quickly you accelerate. 

    Your wingspan (Brilliant), talons (Sharp) my better, except perhaps in sarcasm.  My offer friendship, invites inquisition  (but save the iron for your maidens).   I am at your service for banquet or seance: the scene is at your discretion, as is your role.

    If 'friendship' is of no use and therefore of no interest,  I understand.  Perhaps you win in cheating me of your rapier wit, and the opportunity to admire you. Nicely done.

    We can easily be ships passing in the night.

  44. Persephone (with shades of that old wolf T-P)June 15, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    My child, a young God freshly ripped from Zeus's thigh. I have stocked the woods for you. Run now and Hunt. Taste them all.

  45. The pomegranate seed trickJune 16, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Do not tire. Your wit intrigues me. Send your sacred hounds to receive me and I will ride upon their backs. Friendship is an honorable endeavor not unlike the crucible of Eleusinian mysteries inspiring to be unfolded.

    Come now, Persephone has stocked the woods. Who is game? Whose hunger drips with pleasure?

  46. Does Cerberus refuse his bit(s)? I've sampled the produce marked for the underworld, in the event that you require instruction in saddlery.

    How you toss my arcana. So much to chew on, do you carry a spittoon?  I was raised a slave to hunger--for that, not pleasure, would make me *perfect*.

    Loose your id.

  47. If you have not yet achieved a sufficient sample size:    conscious play engenders significantly higher levels of cognitive dissonance as such, may well be the greater intoxicant.

  48. Death requires not a passportJune 19, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    Games of skill whether fueled by hunger or driven by the lustful dragon of dissonance thirst for the hidden. Blood lust is weaved into patterns of Yassa along the Mongalian grasslands. The intoxicant lives in the rules which are broken. Durga rides the tiger of id which has never lost its well spring.

  49. Constructivist Fuckery ReturnsJune 19, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    Temüjin your loyalty is like a tornado.

  50. Kahn on FleishigJune 19, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    Forbidden, to cut the throats of animals slain for food; they must be bound, the chest opened and the heart pulled out by the hand of the hunter

  51. Can you please remove my life's work from your blender?

  52. Stepping outside for a momentJune 19, 2011 at 9:25 PM

    Seems a good day to thank you for the substantial re-parenting and for gently darting me, again.  

    I am charmed by the nuance generative intelligence in these renderings.  Summon a spiritual guide and receive Diety pate.  How divine.  And, Tiger, what will you do with your chop-o-matic next?   It would be selfish to ask that you continue to ape me: You want (more) power (more) money and (more) sex.   (It's universal) and I am not the conduit.

    You are non pareil, dark and colorful.  The adaptations, flexibility, facility with language and metaphor, outstanding. How fortunate I am to have had the opportunity to appreciate a small cross section.  To feel myself an animal again.  Exquisite creature, if you're ever game... I owe you lunch.

    Reasons besides to find this elite cognitive set intriguing.   As such will be round contributing where I can, off gassing when I can't. xoxo

  53. Friend us on Facebook.

  54. Izanami-no-MikotoJune 19, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    A Hero with a thousand Yiddish words could not convey the humble gratitude experienced upon reading your praises.

  55. In regards owing a meal . . . lunch is never just a feast to an artful dodger. The unexpected lives between the lines of the plethora of predictable archetypes, no matter the speed of the blender.

  56. Charles de TalleyrandJune 19, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    I find that nonsense, at times, is singularly refreshing.

  57. Oh just stop now . . . or I will have hubby preform constructivist fuckery your plotting maniacal buttocks.


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