The clown in the mirror of your dreams

I alluded to this idea briefly in yesterday’s weird-ass woo post, but I’d like to expand it a bit.

The archetypal trickster is the id, the unreflective watcher, the primate within who acts and judges with an animal cunning so subtle that we don’t even notice his hands are on the steering wheel 99% of the time.


His exaggerated features reflect his primitive state. But because he is a being of pure sensation and impulse, with no self-awareness, he cannot be described as a conscious human being endowed with a soul. The homunculus is man-as-beast, a relic of humanity’s darker times.


The aesthetic representation of this primitive man is the clown.


A clown is an expression of soulless libido (“life force” or “drive to live”, in the original sense), a facsimile of unrestrained human instinct with the heart of a naughty child. A lot of people are triggered by the uncanny valley effect of an adult with the libido of a child, and with good reason…because that’s what a pedophile is.


(Sometime I’ll do a proper analysis of this book as a study of pedophilia in America. Spoiler: Most of the thematic material is related to butts, scat, and the anal stage of sexual development. I’ll be making the case that “Derry” is a play on “derriere”, and that the entire city is a giant butt with the canal being its poopchute.)

We see a common motif in art of the “jester as accuser”, which represents the unrelenting judgment of the internal watcher.


The clown’s modus operandi is to offer a simple choice.


Aristotle begins his Metaphysics by saying that all men desire gnosis and take pleasure in it (or perhaps kentnnis would be a better word here).

ALL men by nature desire to know. An indication of this is the delight we take in our senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves; and above all others the sense of sight. For not only with a view to action, but even when we are not going to do anything, we prefer seeing (one might say) to everything else. The reason is that this, most of all the senses, makes us know and brings to light many differences between things.



But the essence of libido is misdirection.

IT balloon

Thus, the mature form of a clown is a magician.


With all that in mind, let’s interpret the final scene in the first Harry Potter book, where Harry meets the trickster.

(The hypnotic compulsion refers to the dissociated mental state of a child abuse victim, and Hogwarts represents high society so that its catacombs can be translated as its dark underbelly. See also: vampires-as-mythical-sociopaths and their powers of hypnotic compulsion.) When Harry looks into the mirror this is an artistic representation of introspection. The sleight of hand here is that the trickster is Harry’s reflection, not Quirrell or Voldemort. The winking homunculus in the mirror teaches Harry that he had the eponymous Philosopher’s Stone (i.e. prisca sapientia) within him all along, waiting to be unleashed by—dare I produce such a pun?—an ultimately fruitless, perverted desire.

Finally, Dumbledore tells Harry that he (Harry) pulled the Stone from the mirror because he (Dumbledore) made an enchantment that only the person who wanted the Stone without wanting to use it for immortality would be able to find it.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Chapter 17 Summary

Immortality is the final goal of the cortical Ego, the death drive, which opposes and suppresses the creative life drive of the libido.

Anyway, even if nothing else I’ve said here is correct, we can agree on one thing for certain—if you chance upon a mirror in a dream, the very last thing you want to see in it is a clown.

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52 Responses to The clown in the mirror of your dreams

  1. Ulixes Orobar says:

    I actually use a “mirror test” in order to determine whether or not I am dreaming. If I can change my reflection by willing it to change, I am dreaming; if I can’t, I’m probably not dreaming. It doesn’t change into any clowns, but it does become weird and exaggerated.

    • Pseudorandom Bypasser says:

      >If I can change my reflection by willing it to change, I am dreaming;

      Are normies dreaming all the time?

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      Interesting. I’ve never actually seen a mirror in a dream.

    • Lizard King says:

      Watches and clocks for me. If the time doesn’t make sense then I know I’m dreaming. :D

      • Ulixes Orobar says:

        >Watches and clocks for me.

        Yeah, I use clocks sometimes as well. I try to make the clock’s (digital) display change to show an impossible time, though. Both tests involve checking for an (apparent) environment which responds directly to thoughts and intentions.

  2. Pseudorandom Bypasser says:

    What about female clowns, Aeoli?

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      That’s most of my browser history. HOT.

      But srsly, I’m not sure what you’re asking.

      • Pseudorandom Bypasser says:

        I was just asking for an analysis similar to the post above. All of it’s examples were male.

        Harleen Quinzel was Joker’s therapist at Arkham Asylum before turning into her partner in crime. It’s like going from superego to id. INFJ women (the typical counselor or therapist) often seem to have a fixation with antisocial or otherwise deviant men.

        You could try correlating this post’s idea with Myers-Briggs’/Jung’s seventh function.

        By the way, I found this site while googling:

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      Female clown actresses generally conform to an archetypal histrionic personality disorder in practice, if that’s what you mean.

  3. Koanic says:

    The best way to prevent a clown from laughing creepily is to unzip his abdominal muscles with a bowie knife.

  4. Tom Kratman says:

    It occurs to me that sometimes you may be counting as real things which are only useful as illustration.

  5. Sammykid says:

    Hey Aeoli, what do you think ego death derives from? Do you think it is a loss of the drive to eternity/immortality? What are its implications on a person’s psychology?

  6. Ø says:

    Intredasting that Pennywise is a Spider both in spirit and phrenology.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      My last two posts were inspired primarily by IT. I started rereading it on Sunday.

      • Ø says:

        I never have read the book; I’ve heard mixed-but-mostly-good things about it (the main complaints having to do with bloat, overlength, and the fact that it was co-authored by cocaine). I remember enjoying the made for TV movie when I was younger, mainly for Tim Curry’s scenery-chewing, kind-of-scary-but-mostly-funny performance.

        • Ø says:

          In fact, the only Stephen Kangz book I’ve read was a collection of short stories that had stuff like the Night Flier and a couple others in it. Was pretty good from what I remember.

        • a says:

          Tired: Stephen King is a creepy sex pervert.

          Wired: Stephen King is bringing forth transdimensional demon lovecraftian old gods into our reality via the collective unconscious of his readers. WE LIVE IN A STEPHEN KING NOVEL!

          Seriously though, ITMOM (wtf weird coincidence there) is a super under-rated movie.
          Don’t watch on druqs or if you have propensity to lose your mind. Seriously.

          • Ø says:

            That’s one I really need to watch; the trailer reminds me somewhat of the old vidyagame Eternal Darkness; both have similar Lovecraftian roots. Though imo Event Horizon remains the Sam Niell horror kino experience sans pareil. Shit scared the shit out of me back in the day, though I’m not sure how well the special effects will have aged now.

  7. come on you know it's me says:


    Afraid of your soul, Pear?

    It’s true, Jung said it, humans will go to any length to not meet with their soul, their clown — and collectively, it’s basically treated as evil (hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil), while in fact it determines everything everybody does.
    That’s why everything is said to be, and to have as motives, the opposite of what it and its motives are.

    Maturity and “heaven” aren’t when you assure yourself the illusion of having beaten down the id/soul/clown. Of course, society, and Eysencks, and Freuds, will have to say that (they have to say that… exactly because they are ID-driven people, full-rounded personalities. or sociopaths).
    They are when you stop in front of that mirror, make friends with that unsettling reflection, and somehow form a happy family, with all your selves (without dreaming of taking the protagonist role away from the id/soul/clown).

    Clowns “trigger” people because they (unconsciously) awake their unconscious (soul) — that is the prime part of their selves they, singly and societally, spend their life looking away from and avoiding.

    I won’t run away from the mirror, or see something different than what’s on its surface through my wishful perception. It’s worth staying, and staring.
    You lose your sanity, or become the full you (which the Eysenck’s will still label insane: they need to imagine things as orderly, thus order… give order).

    You have forgotten the Gervais Principle, haven’t you?
    Or you are just so frightened by the dark side of the ID that it’s made you oblivious that the peaks of goodness, and greatness, and light, are in the same place too?

    Or maybe it was the Super-ego to write Brahms concerti and Shakespeare’s plays (to mention two of thousands) :))

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >Afraid of your soul, Pear?

      I’d say “wary”.

      >That’s why everything is said to be, and to have as motives, the opposite of what it and its motives are.

      “Do no evil.” -Google

      >You have forgotten the Gervais Principle, haven’t you?

      You mean “be a little bit evil”? I think I’ve been living it, but not consciously.

      >Or you are just so frightened by the dark side of the ID that it’s made you oblivious that the peaks of goodness, and greatness, and light, are in the same place too?

      Hmm…I choose Scylla over Charybdis, but I’m not exactly happy about it.

      >Or maybe it was the Super-ego to write Brahms concerti and Shakespeare’s plays (to mention two of thousands) :))

      I expect these were creations of the id. The superego is more concerned with *not* doing evil.

  8. Pingback: Alt-Right cosmology and the Ocarina of Time | Aeoli Pera

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