The King who Grew.

Once upon a time there was a great king whose dark brother, another great king, lived just across the river.

Now, our great king, who was very, very powerful…. but good, or at least , that’s what they say… our great king, being unable to do no wrong….,

That’s a double negative, it should be unable to do, or abl..

…be quiet and listen, our great king, being unable to do no wrong, because of his mighty greatness and without anyone cottoning on, began to fall sick.

OOh dear..

And if he really did have a crystal ball and dared to glance in it he would have been mates with his dark brother and laughed off being king altogether because his greatness and his sickness were going to cost the kingdom quite badly.


Our king had a mysterious illness, the chief symptom of which was that he could no longer see his reflection, aaaan’ he’s kinda getting bad tempered and… homicidally moody.

Every day he would order his captive maid to bring him the handmirror. And every day, as she passed it to him with head bowed and fingers quaking, he’d demand,

”why do you quake so, do you fear me so much?”

And every day she would reply,

”It is not fear of you, but for you , my lord.”

His face had turned hard, his cruelty became legend and he did gaze lustfully at all the cool stuff his brother had.

Is he still good?

Yeees, but, a bit, you know, unwell…

That’s a relief… hope he gets better…

So, he tore down the sacred images of the people,

..because they were badly behaved?

Presumably, and he trampled ash and bone into the very ground of their most holies and sent armies everywhere.

against the bad ones?

It doesn’t say..

They must have been bad…

The armies were totally victorious..


The people were so scared of him they just handed over the keys to their cities to his captains and the armies went in and did as they pleased without reference to common law.

are we still good..?

I don’t think so..

Oh this is a crap story!

Wait, lets see what happens..

I don’t want to be bad…

Well, let’s see if the king can get out of his situation..

..and become good again?

who knows..  So, the people were crushed and enslaved and did our king’s bidding in their great numbers. Plagues and barrenness swept the land.

…definately bad at this stage…

I reckon, and the king took no wife but had unnumbered concubines kept in readiness for his lusts. And he declared new religions he was the boss of and the name of the Old Ones could ne’er be spoken again on pain of death.

An’ Him tax de people..

And still he was not satisfied……The kingdom of his dark brother lay fat and sleek on his doorstep, offensively delicious, insultingly verdant, mockingly sweet…. until a time came when he thought of nothing but the land beyond his grasp and ALL that he did not have.

And it kept his hunger gnawing away and he began to resent his brother for what he was doing to him. And then his brother stole his sleep and his appettite for other things and his lust for his concubines so he went round there and drove a spike into his head.

And so now, uhuh uhuh, he was king of the known world. Uhuh,Uhuh, he could get laid when he liked..

could already do that, mon.

an’, an’, slay whom he pleased..


everyone was scared of him,

..already said that, mon.

He could sleep in on a weekday….

him didna really need him brudda’s kingdom.

But he didn’t know that until it was in his grasp and, indeed, something new began to bother our king. The fact that his reflection had disappeared was, well, annoying, but he could live with that, no, this was something new that crept and slunk into his dreams one night and in the morning he new what it was. He was still hungry.

Nuffin’ new…

Oh yes there was, because this time around he knew without doubt that he had all that he wanted. Nothing more existed beyond his majesty…

What he wanted was not what he needed…

and so his stomach rumbled…..

and the king listened to the words of the rumbling , ‘if what you really want is not whatever you want then being king is not the greatest thing to be’….

And so the king  sent riders out to find the greatest thing to be but they all came back empty handed.

Did he chop off them head?

No, he forgot…’cos he began to sicken even more and pine for the greatest thing to be until it was all he could think about…

He didn’t even ask for his mirror to be bought to him anymore.

Time passed. The king kept searching. Every day the riders went out and every evening they returned empty handed and still he forgot to chop off their heads.

He let himself be anxious when they left and depressed when they returned. He ate when he was hungry and slept when he was tired.

One day the slave girl had bought him some treat or other, kitchens have to be kept busy, and as she put it down she accidently knocked over the king’s great goblet, the punishment for which was death.

Instinctively, the king caught it before it hit the ground. Not because it was his great goblet but because he didn’t want the girl to get in trouble. And so he came to realise that the one that was greater than himself was the one who cared about more than being a king.

And in that moment a swath of  geese flew into the evening sky calling to one another in such tones of belonging that he forgot about being king altogether.

So he gave the girl the goblet. She put it near Her altar and thought about him from time to time.


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Psychotherapist/writer/artist/ author of, 'Going Mad to Stay Sane', a psychology of self-destructiveness, about to come into its third edition. Soon to be printed for the first time, 'Abundant Delicious.. the Secret and the Mystery', described by activist Satish Kumar as, ' A Tao of the Soul'. This book documents the archetypal country through which the process of individuation occurs and looks at the trials and tribulations we might expect on the way. In the meantime..... Narcissisim is the issue of our age. This blog looks at how it operates, how it can damage and how we may still fruit despite it.

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