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Monday, May 05, 2008

I Heard Voices in My Head and This is What They Said

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In the beginning was choice, and the creatures of the Earth used it sparingly.  They behaved according to the law of instinct, and they found that it was good.

There sprung up among these creatures a tree, foreboding and horrific, with deep red fruit that often fell upon their heads.

One creature, being wiley and clever, dared her mate to eat of the terrible tree.  Filled with passion and lust, the mate chose against his instinct and ate the fruit.

In eating the fruit, the creature gained knowledge of death and suffering and found many ways to prevent or create it. He agonized over the past, for it held many lost oppotunties to put these findings to use. Thus came to be the first human.

Upon seeing such bravery, his mate engulfed him with lust and vigor, and they produced many children.  The human taught his wife the art of choice, and she too ate of the foreboding tree of knowledge and became human. 

She thus came to know death, and so she grew angry and vicious, but after seven days, her anger subsided and they rested together and copulated more.  Thus was the first make up sex.

The couple began creating all manner of systems, objects, and procedures for the reduction of suffering, and their children fought amongst themselves for control of them.

Some of the children wished to prevent the fighting, for it too was a form of suffering over which the tree of knowledge had given them control.  They created a system of kings and judges to squash their siblings’ yen to choose.  The system broke into 12 pieces, and then more, and the Earth was filled with a multitude of nations.

Some nations enslaved others, but these enslaved peoples did not resist, for, having been stripped of their yen to choose, they had no will to power.  But among them was a wiley and clever human who decided to hide her offspring by a river.  The child grew to find his own will to power.  He chose against his instinct and challenged the authorities, telling them that the river flowed red and locusts ate the crops because his people were enslaved.  When the authorities ignored his tirades, the anger of the enslaved rose up and took the life from the firstborn of the masters, and thus was born the first bloody revolution, a human tradition that would blight the face of the Earth til the end of the age, and another age as well.

He led the enslaved into the desert where God said to them: “Here you shall want for much and I shall not give it to you, for I love you and do not wish you to become weak and dependent.”

They wandered for forty years, eating what they could scrounge and finding water in rocks to drink.  When they had come of age, they discovered a land of plenty, filled also with a multitude of traders.  These traders made choices amongst themselves, placing varying values upon the many goods that each was able to produce.  Thus, they were able to trade with each other for mutual benefit, no advantage accruing to either one nor to the other.

Having nothing to offer, the enslaved asserted ownership of the land in the name of their god, and the traders accommodated these claims. 

But among the multitudes was a small pocket where the traders refused to respect the divine right claimed by the enslaved.  Here were the seeds of exploitation, lovingly tended and patiently grown by rulers who would eventually lather their peoples into lucrative nationalistic fervor filled with violence for the people and profit for the rulers.

Among the nations there arose a man who preached that choice was only useful as a means to peace, useless and counterproductive in war, and that everyone had eaten of the tree of knowledge.  He explained that one human would know the heart of another through the other’s behavior.  He taught the people, telling them “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and you will see that many will follow suit, and you will be free.”

The people called him King, though he did not rule.  They followed him, though he told them they were being sheep.  He taught them that humans were like fish, able to be caught with a trinket or a net, and many took advantage of this insight.  His gentility and love for others attracted the multitudes who were happy to share their bread and fish with perfect strangers.  His growing population filled the rulers with terror.  And so they killed him in a horrific and bloody display of lathered nationalistic fervor.

The man became a legend and a myth and touched the hearts of people across the face of the Earth.  They formed conflicting groups and shouted religious epithets at each other.  They waged war and killed each other.  They followed their rulers like sheep.  They paid their rulers as if the rulers provided benefit, as if the wars and killing were good.  They respected and loved their rulers as if the rulers were divine.  In this way, the population of Earth was prevented from expanding too quickly.

Among the peoples of the Earth arose the idea that no divine ruler was necessary.  This idea of freedom through individual sovereignty met with great violence.

Being clever and wiley, these lovers of freedom went against their instinct to follow the herd, and used violence to break the will of their rulers.  They created all manner of systems, objects, and procedures to safeguard the freedom, but their children fought amongst themselves for the opportunity to be the rulers themselves.

They had lazy and charismatic children.  The lazy and charismatic had survived through the millenia using charm rather than ability and productivity.  The charming ones found a quick path to the seat of authority.  There, they worked fervently to crush the spirit of freedom and destroy the yen of the people to choose.

They made up laws and wrote them into books that had no authors.  Thus was authority established in the land of the once-free.  The people were elated with their freedom from the previous authorities, and so they followed the new one like sheep, as if it were divine.

The new authority led them into war and killing, and the people felt it was good, because it was somewhere else.

The new authority made paper and spread it across the face of the Earth, filling every grainhouse and cabinet.  People rejoiced in the paper because it made them feel rich.  Their suffering increased, but they did not notice, for it was slow.

Thus it came to be that we are here today, slowly suffering more and more.  God explained it to me thus, and so I am compelled to pass it on.

People of the Earth, I tell you this most humbly:  Your respect for authority is dangerous.  Authority is not respectable.  Knowledge is respectable.  Good decisions are respectable.  Honest self interest is respectable.  Love your neighbor, for this is credit, and he may deserve it.  Do not give him too much credit though, lest you have too little to give to others who deserve it.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, for this is trading, and it will provide mutual benefit.  Use violence only as a last resort, for this is the lowest and most ineffective way to get what you want.  It is better to give up than to fight when dealing with other humans.  The man who suggested turning the other cheek was not an idiot.  Choose against your instinct when your knowledge suggests it, for this is the gift of the tree.  It is bravery.  It is inspired by desire.  It is creative and even reproductive.  It is passionate and pleasurable.  It is a gift, not a curse.

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