Last week we put up our amazing, wonderful, bar-setting “Yogilebrities Attack” poster featuring the very semiotic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Here’s a further reading of the iconic scene from Ghostbusters first depicted in brilliant movable images for your viewing pleasure….
The Ghostbusters (the human) are commanded by Gozer (ego) to choose the form of their own destruction. Just as every moment we choose the forms our challenges and fears take, so too must the Ghostbusters/humans choose their own.
When presented with the task, the Ghostbusters/humans are at first confused, just as new insight into one’s own condition is, at first, not only puzzling, but usually unnoticed.
Once the Ghostbusters/humans begin to make sense of their own dharma—the choosing of one’s own obstacles—they attempt to employ a “Quieting of the mind,” a tactic or method, to void having to choose. Like many spiritually inclined people who attempt to use spiritual disciplines to ignore or mask their karma, so too do the Ghostbusters/humans attempt to do the same.
Only one Ghostbuster/human recognizes the futility of trying to avoid one’s dharma and chooses the path of tantra—the working with/through the mind, working with/through the world—fully engaging the world by choosing and meeting one’s own fate on Arjuna’s battlefield.
But, the human is also a desperate being, and will often invent obstacles with the secret hope that they will manifest, not as destroyers, but as saviors. The contemporary Western yogi invents yogilebrity culture to fill the void of their own making, attempting to sidestep the true dharmic battle by creating false idols to knock down. Little do they know, that they false idol can be more destructive than what lies beyond!
The yogilebrity, in the form of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, enters the scene. Soft, happy, and linked to memories of a safe womb-like childhood, the yogilebrity/Marshmallow Man walks among the people, oblivious to the havoc caused by its own newly-bloated girth.
One of the Ghostbusters/humans describes the mental approach taken to create an obstacle-savior: wish for an opponent so pleasant that it would have no ability to harm. And yet, as a projection of the nicked ego of humanity, the yogilebrity/Marshmallow Man can do little else but walk the Earth stepping on all that happens to unfortunately lay beneath its feet.
The yogilebrity/Marshmallow Man continues to trudge its way through society and culture with a giant white smile on its face.
At this point we see one of the greater effects the yogilebrity/Marshmallow Man has on modern society: the leveling of religion and culture. Here, the yogilebrity/Marshmallow Man knowingly or unknowingly steps on the spiritual traditions of the past in order to continue its path among the detritus. All religions become homogenized and undifferentiated into a single mediocre nothingness of rubble. The spirituality of the self begins to dominate in the form of “personal truths,” forever reinforcing and adorning the crumpled baggage of the ego.
Finally, the Ghostbusters/humans decided to confront the yogilebrity/Marshmallow Man, choosing the weapon of fire (in the Tarot: wands, action, enthusiasm, passion) to roast the fluff of yogilebrity stardom, in effect deflating the newly-inflated ego of those promoting egolessness.
Of course, the yogilebrity/Marshmallow Man does not take rebuttals lightly. When rebuffed, the yogilebrity/Marshmallow Man looses the once-perpetual smile of bliss and transforms itself into a fiery ball of reactionary vengeance making every effort to destroy that which throws barbs at its personality. At this point the Ghostbuster/humans run and hide.
Fortunately, we aren’t human.