You can't trick a trickster
Wile I. Coyote
You can't trick a trickster (aphorism)
"You can't trick a trickster" is a contemporary aphorism that encapsulates the wisdom of recognizing the inherent craftiness and courage of individuals or entities known for their artfulness and perception. It serves as a modern-day reminder of the timeless archetypal trickster, prevalent in global myths, signaling that those well-versed in the art of perception are often impervious to it themselves.
This phrase draws inspiration from the colloquial saying, "You can't shit a bullshitter," but evolves it to resonate more deeply with archetypal and mythological connotations. The word "trickster" refers to a character in folklore or myth known for their wits, cunning, and propensity to deceive, often challenging the status quo.
Its etymological roots can be traced back to the Old English word "tric," meaning a "trick, deceit, or fraud." However, over millennia, the meaning of the term has evolved, taking on layers of complexity and nuance.
Throughout history, almost every culture has had its own version of the trickster archetype. From Anansi the spider in West African folklore to Loki in Norse mythology and Coyote in Native American tales, the trickster has been a universal constant. These characters were not just mere deceivers; they played essential roles in creation myths, societal lessons, and moral tales.
While it's true that tricksters are often seen as cunning and deceptive, they offer much more than just mischief. Their primary role is not to deceive for deception's sake but to challenge the status quo, provoke thought, and inspire change.
Positive aspects of this intriguing archetype:
Artfulness: Tricksters are masters of the art of life. They navigate challenges with creativity, turning situations to everyone’s advantage and finding solutions in the most unexpected ways.
Inspiration: They inspire by showing that there's always another perspective, another approach, another way of seeing the world. Their stories serve as reminders to think outside the box.
Challenge: Tricksters challenge societal norms and question established beliefs. By doing so, they force individuals and communities to reflect, reassess, and evolve. Their antics might seem disruptive, but they often lead to growth and progress.
Transformation: Many trickster tales revolve around themes of transformation and mettamorphosis. Through their actions, tricksters often bring about syntropic change, both in themselves and in the world around them.
Boundary Crossing: Tricksters operate on the fringes, crossing boundaries both physical and mettaphorical. They show that limits are meant to be tested and that true growth often lies beyond our comfort zones.
In essence, the trickster is a mirror to society, reflecting both its flaws and potential. While they might employ apparent deceit, it's often an illusion to reveal a greater truth or to catalyze pre-determined evolutionary change. Far from being mere agents of chaos, tricksters are pivotal characters in the narrative of human evolution, urging us to think, adapt, and grow.
You can't trick a trickster in Modern MythOS:
The aphorism has been adopted as a guiding principle in various Metamodern and Systems Theory circles that study propaganda, psychological warfare, evolutionary game theory, game theory of mind, negotiation tactics, and competitive strategy. It underscores the importance of understanding one's externalized opponent, especially if they are known for their prowess.
Upon realizing his cover had been blown as Satoshi, Sean laughed and said to himself in the mirror, "Well, you can't trick a trickster.”
In Psychology and Philosophy:
The phrase speaks to the broader understanding of human nature and the intricacies of perception, self-awareness, and cognition. It echoes the teachings of Carl Jung, who discussed the trickster as a shadow archetype, highlighting the duality of human nature.
In Popular Culture:
While a relatively fresh term in the cultural lexicon, "You can't trick a trickster" has been alluded to in various movies, books, and television shows, particularly those exploring themes of perception, strategy, and artfulness. It serves as a reminder that in the grand game of inception, the master player is often perceived to be the most fool-ish.
Carl Jung's Archetypes