The Beast of Burdens
Simply look around you and you will see the beast. There is nowhere it does not tread, nothing it does not hear and see and the scent of fear gives it ever more power. It stalks the streets, the halls, the woods and the beaches from coast to coast, unrestrained by borders, walls or fences. There is no sanctuary from the cathedral. For hundreds of years it has devoured the people slowly, one inch at a time, ever expanding and simultaneously shedding clumps of decayed and rotting flesh. The powers that be, the systems we live in, this new religion of materialism and neo-liberal capitalism by day and communist dystopia by the mask of night’s darkness, yet ever the same beast. No longer the innocent pup we sought as a companion at the dawn of modernity, it hungers for control, high on madness and terror and far too massive to be heeled by any leash of the East or the West. The enlightenment and its consequences have come back around to bite the hand that once tried to tame it, weaponized by those who would call themselves elite.
It stands grounded firmly in our laws by sturdy hoof, politicians lobbied and corrupted, robbing the “lesser” man of more than money could ever buy. Our freedoms, our rights and responsibilities, the very lives of the people who still champion its values as though virtue were in and of itself a virtue. From this strong stance upon the stable high ground of the inflating dollar and the ash of the consititution it deftly and mercilessly swings its claws, instilling fear and obedience in the people with a badge and bars, skillfully missing all who proclaim it the higher power in place of faith and decimating generations of those who even but think to question its authority even by accident, be it a small business, a family, or even an individual person. Lives ruined for the sake of intimidation and compliance, no demographic spared annihilation for such arrogance, and everyone so audaciously within proximity of the victim.
After each such sacrifice the beast bellows, news networks and journals decrying the sinner as the true evil, the great wrong of the world. They drag the families over the coals, expose the identity of child and adult alike, and destroy not just their livelihoods but any future chance of opportunity and ability to survive, let alone thrive and provide. Night after night and all through the day it howls and screeches in echoed chorus “Racist! Misogynist! Homophobe! Bigot! Sinner!” with unrelenting fervor. The chants reverberate and magnify in its heart, the children of all nations, the very future of this world, spoon fed to each by their school teachers for five days a week and the ever present media every waking hour otherwise. But if the beast of burden is indeed our police, our politicians, the press and our professors, the very society in which we live, then surely it is as invulnerable as it is omnicient. Is it not?
It is not, for it must feed upon the people lest its putridity overtake it. Though no man or band nor military force has the might to face it head on, the beast may be starved through abandonment. Where the imagery of the Cathedral presents a holy fortress of sacred ground and impenetrable walls too divine to even consider opposing, the Beast presents a small yet potent truth. It cannot fathom to be ignored and avoided, much less defend against such rejection. A life built parallel, from the bottom up, not tethered nor opposing it, can indeed destroy the food chain one link at a time, leaving the system itself no option but to cave in under its own decrepit girth. Strong and capable men and women and their kin make good families, together becoming a community without ever the need to unite or fly a flag at all (a delicious morsel for the creature), simply by living in parallel to the established chaos called “order”, never intersecting or ever dependent upon it.
There is no turning the beast back to the pup it once was, and no amount of returning to tradition will ever change that, but we can move forward and ever so slowly away from its desperate jaws and pitiful roars. There is no need to throw away our advancements if they are integrated with honor, responsibility, and hand forged community. Tradition and technology if properly synthesized present a perfect harmony, easily integrated into the very structure of a community and the natural world around us. Furthermore while a single individual may be easily shattered, together such a risk is reduced to a laughable state if not altogether nullified. Its up to you to live the life you know you should in your heart, that you feel tugging at your ancestral legacy, that this way that we are cannot ever measure up to. If you are to slay the beast you must simply live.