A monster is someone who has stopped lieing to himself. For a while, after discovering the value of it, he tests this new approach of honesty. It’s taken not just with himself but with other people. He drops all the bullshit, the posturing, the masks, the armor, and even the composure; it’s taken to the extreme. But in time it always comes back to the self, full circle. For while learning to express your true nature is essential to the evolution of a monstrous soul, it is just as important to restore the lies that had previously protected others from you, so that you might now protect yourself from them. (The Honesty remains, but only with oneself, and the expression of ones nature continues/persists, but hidden).
“A monster is a person who has stopped pretending…”
If you want to look at some of the more extreme/repulsive/blatant and obvious/easily discernable monsters, take some time to study serial killers, especially some of the ones to be found in fiction, like Hannibal Lecter or Dexter. A lot of them are vicious, sadistic, and depraved. But they also don’t pretend to be something they’re not. They hide it from others, keep it to themselves as much as they can, but they don’t pretend like a lot of more “normal” people do. There’s no wondering “why”, no suffering over the pointlessness of it all. They simply are. I admit, I’m no serial killer. But if I was, I wouldn’t lie to myself about it.
It’s like the differences between the fool (the average man), the wise man (the smart/perceptive/wise man), and the leader (the elite, the best, the ones that sit atop the pyramid and look for ways tomake the whole thing/pyramid/structure move). Though the attitude varies, the fool buys into the theatrics, the wise man sees through them, and the leader puts them to use. The average man buys in to the lies he tells himself, a wise man will know, acknowledge, and perhaps even accept what he is, and a deified man will embrace it. In doing so, he will become more sophisticated.
A monster is simply this: a sophisticated animal. The level of sophistication depends on the ability/competence and intent/vision/objective of it’s creator, whether that be himself or someone else. In terms of creation, there is a question of nature vs. nurture. As far as I know, both are always present, but one is also always more dominant/predominant/prominent than the other in any given specimen/subject. Sometimes an environment or individuals within an environment are more responsible for the creation of a monster than the creature itself. In some cases, a subject may even have been deliberately engineered/shaped by someone. Other times, though often after an external catalyst marked their beginnings, they become as they are of their own volition. Self-made, you could say.
Hannibal Lecter, fictional though he may be, is a rather beautiful/artful illustration of a (relatively) self-made monster, and one of extreme(/extreme level of) sophistication. Darth Vader, in contrast, was nurtured (and shaped) by Darth Sidious and was (perhaps as a result of his susceptibility to such influences and shaping) very straightforward, simplistic, and sophisticated primarily (and only?) in the sense that he served the purpose he was created for exceptionally well.
An animal doesn’t give much though to “why”, to philosophizing, at least not unsophisticated animals… (and even the sophisticated ones, the monsters like Hannibal, don’t do much of that, they might explain what they are, the describe it, understand and embrace it, but very seldom do they ask “why”. Far more often, they simply act according to their nature – with varying degrees of (self-)awareness – and simply do what they want, with the more prominent question being “how”.) But even the less sophisticated often demonstrate a profound – some would say frightening – focus.
Even angels are monsters, up close. They only look pretty from a distance. The same thing applies to a lot of people, celebrities, world leaders, spiritual gurus, and so on… Modern renditions of angels kind of seem to show the idea of just how monstrous these angelic servants of god would be if a) they really existed and b) we were to interact with them face-to-face, especially if we were to witness their demeanor, and actions firsthand or were privy to their intentions and opinions. The Prophecy movies and the Supernatural television show are both good examples of this. To paraphrase one of the main characters, “angels are dicks.”
(Hand-written in pieces at various different times, compiled hereOctober 23rd, 2012)