In one of Aesop’s fables a woodsman heads into the forest to find a handle for his axe head. The woodsman comes into a gathering of trees and informs them of his need. The most senior trees bend in together and conspire against the smaller trees surrounding them. Assuming authority over the weaker trees, and without their consent, they devise a plot to give away an Ash tree. The older trees inform the woodsman that he is free to take the Ash tree to carve his axe handle as long as they are spared. The self-appointed ruling trees suspecting they have gotten over on the smaller trees, congratulate themselves. Their celebration is short-lived. The woodsman soon returns with his newly affixed axe. He does not limit his hackery to the Ash trees; he cuts down the Oaks, the Redwoods and all the other grand trees that were spared before.
This is a frightenting parable about the dangers of conceding even a smidgin of power. Putting limited power in the hands of those with shifting motives is the undoing of us later on. We may weaponize an enemy or a government as an ad hoc safeguard but it is only a matter of time and necessity- and those same guns are turned to us. A criminal who has exceeded the bounds of natural law and gets away with it, doesn’t retire thereafter. His thirst becomes more coarse, more fiendish and so he must expand his operation. The little pieces of jewelry and chump change he might fleece from the armless pedestrian no longer satisfy him. He sets his sights higher, to larger bales of money, more expensive property, and the infinite reaches of power.
When we accept one infringement upon ourselves, the demons we give room to take notice. They jot down in memory that we do not put up a fight, nor ask for clarification of why we must abandon our own staff, that we content ourselves with further defacement if the ignis fatuus of protection is compelled. They, rabid and bloodlustful for total dominion, will reduce us to complete peonage. We will be caught in the crossfire of the tactics used to fend off the purported enemy; the fence elevated to keep the enemy out likewise keeps us in. And therein, we discover our protectors will be the chief violater of our rights through legislated pillage and plunder while promising to secure our rights against those invisible enemies out there, who are frequently inured, but rarely, if ever, seen.
Yet, the error is not them; the error resides with us. We willingly put our heads on the chopping block. Unlike the trees in Aesop’s fable, mere inanimate objects, we have freedom of mind and mobility. Yet, we voluntarily walk into the dungeon and restrain ourselves with the fetters on the wall. The Uniformity League has created the most deceptively wonderful labor camp. The Soviets called it the gulag. We call it America. A place where symbols, statues, icons and brands fuse and become our identities. It is wrought with glamor and spectacle; where we have “the most of everything but the best of nothing” as John Keats wrote. More mystique than ancient Greece, more crushing than the Roman empire, and an octupus of political clout and corporate dominance that places septic tanks in any terrority it dislikes. Or any country that defies its wishes. We view it as irrevocable. It has all the trappings of a real society, seemingly favorable to human beings. Never do we once look behind the scenes, to figure out who the real players are, what the real intent is, and why it is the way it is. We are shy to ask the guardians standing stoically at their posts, what they are really protecting, whether us or the rulers.
But the axe is in its hand, so we dare not question for a few moments of amnesty. If the thing is yelling out “FEED ME SEYMOUR!”, we’ll quickly grab others and throw them to the beast so long as the beast is not snapping at us. The salivating sharp teeth or the glistening, oiled axe appears an indomitable foe. Like the man dragged into the prison or the court we are presented a crushing anxiety. Instead of understanding the true nature and cause, we cry for immediate release. The broken man or woman will sign their names anywhere and for any reason to get back to the comfortable outside, not understanding like Henry David Thoreau did so well in his essay Civil Disobedience:
“I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through before they could get to be as free as I was. I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar.”
The frightened individual sees freedom as a circumstance of the body and not a condition of the mind. He never knows or understands the contract that he or she has entered into. He equates physical freedom with mental easement. The temporary escape has only postponed the reckoning.
That is where many in the world find themselves. Trapped in a cell of our own making. We are afraid of a brief calamity and forget who we are. Only our ego exists in times of trouble. Guide us it will into hasty and detrimental scenarios. We will grant jurisdiction to anyone who gives us a justification for not thinking. Our power is thrown at the feet of those who appear to have bona fide authority. Fuck the vetting and screening process. Afraid to face the pervasive matrix constructed around us, terrifed of the ledge and depths we might fall, we go right into the hands of Agent Smith.
Disaster reduces us to infants and toddlers. The marauders are there with their pacifiers. A little suckling and the trepidation ceases. The benefit received is inferior to self-sufficiency. Accepting the pacifier we at the same time revoke our own authority. Consoled by a temporary relief, we can carry on the simulation of being a whole person. But we are not whole anymore. We are a fraction of the sum of ourselves. A limb has been severed from our body. The phantom arm or leg seems to be there but it is not. Upon acceptance of the temporary security, a portion of who we are was confiscated. Freely given, it can not be freely returned.
Our protectors will not vacate their superior position. There will be no equal footing or level playing ground if they have their way. The game remains rigged and the table tilted. As an infant in need of pampering, we no longer have the status to conduct our own business. Crawl, if you will, but under no circumstance, can we walk or run. Stay inside our little fence with nonstop amusements to distract us from our pathetic predicament. We are serfs in a land intoxicated with the beverages of liberty. A feudalist system has been set up under the guise of representative democracy. Our conscription into serfdom is done without full disclosure. With invocation to the feudal lords for a bit of safety we relinquish all claims to ourselves. Simultaneously, we pledge our allegiance to those set up as our temporary liberators. You have no right to criticize the breadwinners. You’ve joined the corporation for this particular benefit. Caught in a storm of codependency, we can never be free and we lie to ourselves to even suggest that we are. We make excuses for the dysfunction and evil of the tyrants that rule us. Hampering recovery. Perpetuating the cycle of evil. Refusing to cut the umbilical cord.
“Freedom is the last thing he wants. He functions, as we shall see, according to the principle of pleasure in non freedom. To be sentenced to life long freedom is a worse fate then life long slavery. To put it another way: a man is always searching for someone or something to enslave him, for only as a slave does he feel secure –and as a rule his choice falls on a woman. Who or what is this creature who is responsible for his lowly existence and who moreover, exploits him in such a way that he only feels safe as her slave, and her slave alone?” – Esther Vilar (The Manipulated Man)
You do not have to acknowledge that you have been reduced. It is not an easy task to admit our illegitimacy. We know that the gods we genuflect before have murdered millions. Anything that we can do to keep their horrid machines devouring innocent others rather than us, we will do. We will sign our children away as collateral and cut our paychecks in half. America is full of wage slaves. A few are allowed to rise as the cream of the crop to keep the rest of us motivated by the dream. There is not enough money in circulation for everyone to be King of the Hill. So little hamsters pant and sweat in the wheel of samsara. Overwhelming amounts of our income is confiscated through copious taxation and inflation. Little benefit is derived from this simulcra of supposed mutual reciprocity; in fact, so many secretly loathe this politically sanctioned piracy that it is shocking that there has not been outright revolution. But a prince or princess reduced from royalty does not lightly regain their kingship. If it is sold for a pot of lentils, the reclamation will be an arduous, frustrating feat.
Difficulty is not due to the terror of the Uniformity League or its legions of sophisticated weaponry and laws that stifle and demand obedience. The difficulty is that we do not know who we are. We have been turned towards destruction, and unable to bear much reality, we sabotage ourselves with more destruction. Jolting psychogenic fugues materialize into thick fog. It is, in effect our personal Dark Age, a period of gut-wrenching persecution we must overcome. We have operated for so long in a reduced capacity. Trying to operate the whole of ourselves we will be frightened at the cogency of that forgotten power. It does not feel realistic, we do not feel capable. Too much tork in the engine. Assuring ourselves is always preceded by a restless deliberation. The first signs of resistance and we go whimpering back to our corners. Like Pavlov’s dogs, the social scientists know they only need to increase the charge and we will wet ourselves in petrification.
But, my friends, we must chip away at the rusting shackles. Become aware of all the ways we have contracted away our individual sovereignty. None of us deserve to operate at a percentage of our capacity. That we have a disproportionate number of people in the world in the lower percentile doesn’t bode well for us. Conundrums galore. How will a world of the mentally handicapped and the spiritually immature overcome? On the surface, it is a daunting enterprise. Fortunately, our power does not rely in that which is behind or before us; but that which is in us. Inklings of the inner strength come to the surface like affable dolphins. The phenenoma is so unusual we write it off as a fluke. Writing if off does not rebuke it into nonexistence. It cannot leave us. It is an innate part of our being. Unconditional and uncritical, it stands by us in times of conscious stupidity and grave peril.
Like Dorothy’s dog Toto in the Wizard Of Oz. The name Toto was derived from the legal expression “in toto.” It’s etymology forms the word “total.” It means complete, full, whole. The wretched county administrator threatened to take Dorothy’s dog, accusing it of snapping at a local resident. Indignant that she is being riled by such a spiteful old hag, Dorothy pulls her dog close to herself. Later, as she wandered through the land of Oz, the wicked witch pursued her: “I’ll get you and your little dog, too!” she screeched.
Idle threat. Empty rhetoric. At best, we are convinced that we lack wholeness but it can never be taken away from us. Even if it seems that we’ve made that transaction, it is an invalid commercial contract. Terms and conditions are unlawful, fraudulent. Effecting the propaganda a giant forgery is erected. We wander from place to place, there are others like us; braindead, heartless, cowardly. Convinced that the problem is outside of ourselves, we search outside of ourselves for a cure. Snake oil salesmen and tea leaf readers appear as our saviors; we license them to soothe our fears. The imitation deprives us of the unfathomable mystery. Our wholeness never leaves nor forsakes us. It is there for our redemption when and if we see fit.
The engine, after seasons of latency, will be rough and shaky at first. Seemingly uncontrollable and zigzagging off the road. Keep our hands on the wheel and keep “toto” close. A world with everyone operating at 100% is surely preferrable to a feudal system that necessitates the majority to a perpetual serfdom. Those who think that kind of poverty is an inevitable byproduct are the real Elders of Zion. You are the descendants of Tories appointed to sustain the aristocratic status quo. Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her plagues. Put flames to the documents of slavery, pull down the pillars of the systems of cruelty, and break asunder the philosophy that enforces the benefits of the reduced human being.
Institutions and empires are mirages. They only exist in the attention we give them. It only took Dorothy recalling her real home for the matrix of Oz to disappear. The lesson is that we have to get back to ourselves. The Occult practitioners and the mind control experts are losing their grip. The witch, even as she is shriveling into ash, is still spitting vitriol about how small we are. Do not make agreement with that counterfeit message. Do not fall into the trap that we cannot live without the petty, laborous system others have set up to use us a source for perpetual revenue.
Trading our aliveness for the system’s inferior benefits is the true source of evil. Offering ourselves to it, we keep it functioning with our negative energies. Sad is the state of the world when so many are toiling for an anti-human system and they know that it is wrong. This is the one true cardinal sin; the sin of denying ourselves. It is what Wilhelm Reich referred to as the “emotional plague” permeating this culture. It’s intent is the defamation of all that we are; and when it has broken us, to seduce us into its vampiric orgy of madness. To suck out our lifeblood. To rupture our self. To trap us into a Dewey Decimal system where we are all numbered and catalogued. You are not a number. You are whole. You are 100%. Anything less than that, would be uncivilized. As it has been.