190. Gathering together (V)
Elon Musk is a man who seems to have perfected the art of leadership. The art of leadership is to make yourself nothing—no-thing. This rule is reflected in the world of cybernetics, where “0” is the steersman or helmsman of the feedback loop. Chairman Mao called himself “the Great Helmsman”, but nobody was further from true leadership; to announce yourself as the greatest helmsman is a contradiction in terms, to announce that you are nothing is to say you are something—a grandiose claim, and one that, in Mao’s case, killed millions and laid waste to his country.
Musk knows the art of zero; and this is quite a tricky art, for to be zero is not to be humble and it is not to boast—it is to be the vital centre, receptive and ready to turn into anything as required. This is why the prince and the pauper are similar figures, both have nothing: the pauper because he is poor and without obligations, and the prince because he is tied to duty by blood—the king owns nothing. Yet, oddly, the most duty-bound and the least duty-bound men have infinite potential. Princes, such as the unfortunate Harry, who want to become middle class are bound to disaster: there is no greater egotism for a prince than to be middle class. If Harry became a pauper, he would be fine—the pauper also has the audacity of the prince, with nothing to lose. A prince can never be middle class, because the middle class, whatever their other virtues, are puffed up egotists who live by moralisation, snobbery, and—often spurious—displays of virtue.
Musk’s great humour is related to zero. The Japanese author Yukio Mishima once told communist students in a debate that while he thought they also wanted the best for Japan, as he did, he held “the Joker”, because he said the name of the emperor. What he meant by this was that the emperor makes himself “0” to rule; his life of total service voids his ego—and so this is the divine aspect of rulership. We void ourselves through devotion to the yoke, the literal meaning of “yoga”. But this is not slavery; the bound man—like an awakened Buddha—is happy in his bonds; he becomes a cheerful and mischievous fellow; he turns into this or that—a Joker from the vital centre.
Musk’s destiny can be found in his birth and his name: he is English, he has the English exploratory spirit—and, through his mother, he is a little Canadian as well—but he was born in South Africa at a time when the Boers ruled; so he imbibed the spirit of the Great Trek, the Boer mythos, and later translated it to the stars. Elon Reeve Musk; his name means: Elon, “tree” in Hebrew; Reeve, “an officer of the king” in English; and Musk, “testicle” in Sanskrit, by metaphorical extension from the shape of a mouse. He is, therefore, the king’s tree—the penis—united with the testicles: he is a complete male reproductive system; hence his rockets are potent, his strong musk penetrates the sky—through his tech-gnosis he is also the “royal tree”, the Tree of Life.
Further, the mouse-testicle metaphor of Sanskrit leads us to the figure of Paul Mua’Dib in the novel and film Dune: this is the exoteric name of Paul Atreides, a messianic figure who awakens on the desert world Dune; it means “mouse” and “teacher”. Dune was filmed by David Lynch, as with Musk a seeker for the light of consciousness. Dune is Mars and Musk is Paul Atreides; it is the destiny of the Indo-Aryans, a warlike people, to return to their origins on Mars—planet of the god of war—and then respiritualise the galaxy through holy war. Be in no doubt, Musk is an awakened teacher: Tesla’s logo is the Hermetic caduceus that represents the spiral ascent of spiritual awakening—in his case, conducted through tech-gnosis.