In legend and folklore there exists the trickster spirit. This is a spirit that does not depend on power to achieve its ends, but on cleverness and trickery, even outwitting the gods. This trickster archetype has inspired popular culture, including comic books and movies. In the Avengers movie the chief villain is Loki who in mythology is the embodiment of the trickster. In the Dark Knight movie the Joker is an exact embodiment of this trickster spirit. Tricksters make good villains.
Heath Ledger’s role as the Joker in the Dark Knight was so powerful it felt as if he were actually channeling the trickster spirit. His portrayal of the Joker character was riveting. News stories suggest the Colorado cinema shooter was in some part inspired by the Joker character.
Does the trickster spirit actually exist? In terms of psychology it clearly does or we’d not have this Jungian archetype. We could call the trickster spirit…madness. Crazy people. We always had crazy people and we always will. We can’t outlaw crazy. America is unique in that we allow these crazy people to buy assault rifles, weapons of personal mass destruction. In a way, America’s gun laws are as crazy as these maniac shooters. The spirit of the trickster manifests itself in American politics and law.
The Trickster Spirit is laughing right now. As a society we caterwaul over such tragedies while at the same time we allow crazies to legally own assault rifles that can hold a hundred rounds that fire 50 rounds a minute. Our gun laws are a joke even the Joker would be proud of.
Is the Trickster Spirit a paranormal entity? It is difficult to separate the purely psychological from the paranormal; the line is blurry. Many people seem to think so. Instead of popular culture’s name for this spirit such as Loki and the Joker, this spirit also goes by another name. Satan, Lucifer, the Morning Star, the Prince of Lies, the Snake in the Garden of Eden.
Does this evil trickster spirit influence only the minds of crazy people? Most crazy people are harmless, sad souls that deserve sincere sympathy. Evil does not require madness. Evil operates very well without “crazy” as we can see in both political and economic world events.
What happens when typical everyday evil and madness collide? “He was diabolical, demonic,” Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said of the shooter. If this Evil Trickster Spirit actually exists, it surely desires that crazy people can legally own quasi-military style weapons. But being a clever trickster, this Spirit will limit such displays of their use. This Evil Spirit wouldn’t want to change minds and bring sanity to America’s gun laws. Our gun laws are exactly where this Trickster Spirit wants them…just enough to spread fear and despair but not enough to change laws.