It’s funny how stories reach out and touch you so deeply at just the right time. It’s hilarious, and arguably even more profound, when they weren’t intended to. Often times I find those narratives and ideas which cut to the core are able to do so through a sort of divine synchronism, a sort of rhyming with whatever else is going on in my life. These stories that punch through the veneer of entertainment to the truth of what stories really are seem to pack an extra punch when they come from a place I would normally see as silly, or “not my thing.” There is something about transcending one’s expectations of mediocrity, or vapidity, that brings a surprise. A surprise that lands experientially somewhere between a birthday party and the Trojan horse.
The Way of the House Husband has landed in this fertile yet awkward land I call my consciousness and, for those who don’t know, the show is about a Yakuza legend who wrought total destruction upon every local gang single handedly for the sole purpose of retiring with the love of his life in domestic marital bliss.
While I was not, myself, by any means a successful criminal the amount of trauma and horror incurred during my years as a drug addict make me feel, at times, much like our House Husband. Carrying the weight of all I have seen and done into this loving and pure new life, and with the intensity of mundane tasks dialed up to life/death consequences internally. While I do not wish this hyper attentive and intensely ultra state upon anyone, I do feel comforted by a character who is learning to turn his fighting all the time mindset into something potentially useful, repurposed for the art of affection. In service of love.
He terrifies all the women at Yoga, he sees his Roomba as an underling in his gang, and he tries to severely punish himself for the smallest inconvenience or disappointment he causes his beloved. These are all tendencies which are disturbingly relatable for an ex addict who married a priest.
Through the humor of this show, this strange archetype, I am able to hold the idealized deified House Husband in my mind as I go about my day. He reminds me that when I spill some shit on the floor right after mopping that the vein in my forehead and twitching eye are actually just a well-drawn, funny cartoon. All I need to do is lean into it. Take the moment less seriously. Be a bit kinder to myself about the adjustment from skipping meals to save up for dope, ducking dealers I owed, and juggling lies to keeping up a clean kitchen, happy garden, shining shrines.
It also affords me a cheeky stance from which to see the dishes as “scum that needs dealt with” or the weeds in the garden as “saboteurs popping up left and right.” With a self satirizing lens, these become jokes instead of psychoses.
In essence, what was intended to be a funny anime playing on tropes about Japanese gangsters has become a thought form with which I am working towards results of incremental healing. I often say I don’t like Chaos Magic because it’s like tourism, all of the cuisine and none of the lifeways, but perhaps this is my Chaos Magic. Because they absolutely did not know this show would be a profound tool in my spiritual arsenal for this time in my life, but they made it anyway, just because. And now it is so much more than a funny cartoon.
I digress: To be honest I’m not sure how this would be different than plain animism, now that I’m thinking about it, outside of employing something in a spiritual context which was only meant for entertainment. This feels more like returning to a world where ideas are alive more than some kind of eccentric hack. Dropping down into the reality where it was never weird in the first place seems more accurate than stacking a bit of magic on top of materialism and calling it something else. Like scratching a chip of paint off of a blacked out window and calling it a new peep hole. It’s not a peep hole, it’s a mostly fucked up window. But like I said, I digress.
This inevitably brings the question to mind, whether this thought form arose from the show, or the show arose from the thought form. The nice part is, it doesn’t matter at all and we never need to try to figure that out. It’s more of a rhetorical wondering meant for wonderment.
Archetypes arise anew as new roles emerge in the world through our endlessly complicating tendencies. The need for these examples is their only source. The need is the origin. From there, the spirits may pull these archetypal garments out of the Akashic closet whenever there’s a need or desire to help or traumatize this person or that, but only if they lean into it. If a resonance exists, explore it- this is all there is in the universe, really. And yes, this is how I actually imagine it- a big closet full of archetypes.
If you have a weird niche archetype or character you identify or work with, I would love to hear about it in the comments.