Success is a hollow idea/idol

I’ve now been studying with the GAHP (global association for holistic psychotherapy) for three months. The course itself is over and we are now working to complete the requirements for being certified. One of the requirements is that we bragged for 5 days (if you miss one, you start over) on the certification’s FB group.

But bragging is a matter of seeing success in oneself. What is there to be celebrated when we cast a dim light on ourselves ?

We write our own story. In a good or bad way.
Two days ago, I had the luck to attend a passionate conference by French cinema journalist Rafik Djoumi on the film matrix Revolution, by the Wachowski sisters (who then were brothers. They have now transitionned to be women). Rafik Djoumi, in his conference, took a close look at the Wachoswki’s inspirations for the film, and one was Nietzsche’s idea to « use a hammer to do philosophy ». The hammer is a metaphor, of course : some of our ideas are so powerfully binding that they are like idols, really. But they are hollow and conditionnal, and if we strike them with the hammer of careful examination, they crumble to dust.
One of these hollow ideas/idols is success. And the Wachowski’s movies are an excellent example of this. Let me explain…

Art by Hersson Piratoba, showing how Agent Smith is, himself, a hollow ido

The Matrix films were phenomenal. They revolutionned not only the world of special effects, but also the possible density of philosophic, spiritual and symbolic contents that one can put into a movie. A big part of the viewers didn’t even realize, but The Matrix is about illusion (in the buddhist’s definition of the word), free will and freedom of choosing to break free from the illusion and deciding to do whatever it is I’ll do, not because an exterior power tells us to, but because it’s our choice.

That’s huge, right ?
Well, Matrix Reloaded and Matrix revolutions were financial failures. The audience was far smaller than for the first movie and the critics were acerbic.
The two following movies the Wachowski made, Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending, also « failed » in this regard. And Sense 8, the Netflix series was shortened because the audience figures were unsufficient to make it profitable.

We could write different stories about these works’ « success ».
We could say that, having lost the interest of the public and the studio’s support, the Wachowski have failed, big time. And if I were one of them and I was telling myself this story, I would feel very very depressed. I would feel like my art is misunderstood, that my heartfelt message has been overlooked. I would be heartbroken that nowaday’s movie industry is dominated by producers and franchise and that there is less room for auteur cinema.

This very notion of « success » is one of these hollow ideas/idols that crumbles to dust at the slightest brush. Well, even if in this case, the « brush » is rather a wrecking ball.
How are we to love ourselves when our mindset is that it’s others’ reaction that defines our worthiness ? You get to decide. You get to choose.

Our history, we can write it in good or bad, while it’s the exact same life we are looking at.
Personnally, if I could send a letter to the Wachowski, I would thank them. I would thank them for offering us such an incredible and groundbreaking show, so dense you can watch it ten times and still discover more new stuff to get inspired about.
I would thank them for Sense 8, for showing on screen that you can be gay, trans, poor, depressed or unjustly imprisoned and still do amazing things.
I would thank them for showing that love doesn’t follow one model and can be shared with more than one person at a time, that individuals can be connected in a much deeper way than the bonds society proposes.
I would tell them : your works are such a success. What you have done is phenomenal.

You too have probably done and created things that have brough you no gold medals, no fame, no money, no thanks, no recognition. But it doesn’t mean it wasn’t outstanding. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t precious. It doesn’t mean that you must put it in the « failure » box.
Please, DO put it in the « success » box. Give yourself credit for it. celebrate your personal essence that has been expressed in it, in your way of being, of creating. Be your fiercest advocate and your most passionate fan.
Do not let yourself be impressed by hollow idols. Fling a good hammer at it ! (Thor’s hammer Mjolnir is exactly designed to do that !)

So… my today’s brag for the GAHP is… I do many things that are magnificent. They aren’t read, aren’t seen, aren’t heard, aren’t understood and often aren’t even received. But they are beautiful in themselves and they have value.
They are my success.