'Taking the Mickey'

and the

Laughing Man

I always had a desire to help others coupled with an impulse to bring to light the hypocrisy in everyone and myself. This is what attracted me to comedians as well as great spiritual teachers and teachings – they exposed hypocrisies, were sources of wisdom and told the greatest jokes. The greatest of my teachers, Adi Da Samraj, had a tremendous capacity for humor and seemed to have transcended point of view. He was the most paradoxical being I ever came across as well as the wisest, most critical, praiseworthy and full of humor; his teaching always criticized and illuminated.

 

Hypocrisy is the act of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which your own behavior does not conform. The Aussies (Australians) call the exposing of hypocrisy - 'taking the mickey out of something.' It originally referred to taking the 'Mick' or Irish out of a situation. The phrase was based on the assumption that the Irish were a people who had hot tempers and loved to drink and brawl. Taking the 'Mick' out of someone (or something), meant removing that person's tendency to fight or brawl and turn all points of dissension into a source of humor. Now it seems to me, the 'condition' attributed to the Irish

is true of all of us, not just those few.

 

'The Mickey,' represents the unconscious egoic identification we all have with our own point of view. There is an inherent 'problem' with 'point of view' because it is limited and therefore necessarily set against all others.  Therefore, every point of view and every thing has a 'Micky' that needs to be taken out. To recognize the 'Mick' or to 'take the Mickey out,' demands a recognition of other points of view than our own; how else could it be done? Other points of view are literally recognized only in relation our own and thus involve an acknowledgement of that which is beyond the ends of our universe (our own world) and thus this recognition of our own limitation as well as the others, makes our own serious point of view a relative and laughing matter; and  to see the Mick needs humor and humor is the result of such acknowledgement. This practice 'of taking out the Mickey' does not keep us from hypocrisy, but it keeps us from being 'unconscious' hypocrites. after all, we all got the Mickey . . .

 

So, it seems to me the question is not whether we are hypocrites or not; we all most certainly are; the difference is whether a person is conscious of being a hypocrite or not . . . and this is the distinction between a raving fundamentalist and a laughing man. To realize ourself and every one of us as an actor or a ‘hypocrite (the Greek word for 'actor' is 'hypocrite'),’ is to become conscious of unknowable Reality and our own limitations. Our ignorance is the necessary ground for any knowledge or understanding . . .  which provides the ability to discriminate between shit and shinola or what is true and what is false. 

 

In the words of Carl Jung, "Whatever we are unconscious of, happens to us outwardly as fate." If we wish to 'grow up.' become human and responsible, we must start by becoming aware of our own ignorance, faults, limitations and hypocrisies and this is what 'taking the mickey,' out of someone and ourselves is meant to do.

 

The stories I tell here throw light on the darkness of our hypocrisy and that of others. Because there are so many points of view one can address, there is literally no end to the stories one can relate or the Mickeys we can speak of.

 

It has been said that ‘an actor is an artist who tells the truth by lying' . . . the ‘lying’ refers to the ‘acting’ that he or she does. Well, a storyteller is also a liar and does similar work by telling stories or tales. By relating stories, he inevitably, consciously or unconsciously, exposes the limitations,  ‘lies’ and hypocrisies in the subjects he considers, including himself, the storyteller . . .  in other words, he 'takes the Mickey out of all of it and him or herself.'

 

So, welcome to my storytelling; a small attempt to take the Mickey out of things, and let me assure you, everything I write here is filled with nothing but, 'true lies.'

 

 

- Peter Malakoff