Sparks of Insanity

Haphazard Explorations & Experiments In Fiction

A Monsters Reflections

It’s hard to say what defines someone as a monster. The dividing line, if I were pushed to draw one, is that some really just aren’t ‘monstrous’… and of the ones that are, like me, a few of us have decided to stop lying to ourselves. Most are among the last kind I mention, having come to terms with their true nature, embracing it so that they can live up to their full potential and thrive.

A few even learn to wear their true face in front of everyone out in the open, brazen, unafraid, uncaring, regardless of the consequences. Some of them are strong enough in the right ways to do so, their strength – when pitted against the preferences and desires of other – allowing them impose it, in all of its grotesque glory, on just about anyone they please with little thought to their own safety; and others are more inclined to be selective in their transparency, freely embracing their more secretive nature.

The Latin word “monstrum”, one that ‘monster’ is derived from, is a term that in many respects describes me well. To use the words of Suetonius, a Roman historian, it could fairly be said that I am “…contrary to nature – or exceed the nature – [people] are familiar with, like a snake with feet or a bird with four wings.” Seneca, a philosopher of Rome, described it as “a visual and horrific revelation of the truth.” Beyond this, I believe the meaning of it speaks well to the misconceptions of self-deceivers, monsters in denial, and the ones that aren’t monsters. To people such as this, I might seem abnormal, strange, morally reprehensible, a malfunction of nature. And I can understand that, from their eyes, a monster is something to fear.

Hence the need for either strength or subterfuge. It would be neglectful not to point out that I’ve found both are desirable, but sometimes – and some people – don’t always get what they want… or, for that matter, what they need to survive. Let alone thrive.

Light, dark, shades of grey, and all the colors of the rainbow, and which of these a person chooses to align himself with or pretends to believe in… couldn’t tell you definitively whether or not someone is a monster. That’s true. It would be a waste of time to attempt cataloging and categorizing all the different kinds there are, and it would take more time and effort than it’s worth to try telling you how to spot them. They come in all shapes and sizes.

All I know is that I am one.

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3 comments on “A Monsters Reflections

  1. jumbledwriter
    April 4, 2013

    I am not sure if you meant it this way, but taken in a metaphorical way, this is really chilling.
    –JW

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Terry Gotham
    April 6, 2013

    Very Thomas Ligotti. Kudos.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lucienlachance
    April 18, 2013

    I think in the end, each person is capable of becoming a monster, if only the scales are tipped just so, and they are put into situations where a darker nature is necessary for survival. We are all playing the game, are we not? We claim we’ve become domesticated, even as the savagery descends all around. Denial is a huge part of human societies, that somehow, after doing our hair and makeup and putting on our finery, we’ve separated ourselves from the four-legged ones. We’re better than, stronger than, cleaner than… But some of us know the truth, and can’t give up the beast without giving up ourselves. We dress up like them, we act like them, and maybe even lie to ourselves occasionally about what we really are. We do what we must to live.

    Do I think all of us are monsters? No. The potential, however, is there, but there are too many who are satisfied by mediocrity and shining golden cages. The question truly is, what are our walls for? Are they to keep the wild out, or to keep us in?

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on April 3, 2013 by in Monstrous Souls and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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“And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
~William Shakespeare

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