How I found my way out ...


How I found my way out ... by P.K.Odendaal - November 2013.

Note added to end on 29 November 2013.

I have taken this title from a series of books published over many years. Some of these titles are:
How I found my way out of:
Mormonism
Free Masonry
Catholicism
And many others.
 
And I think it is the most important thing in our lives to pursue the way out of hundreds of bondages and enslavements - by ourselves, by others and by society.

I have written two articles on this subject and still it haunts me as I have not reached a satisfying perspective on the concepts which relates to freedom and bondage. Sure, we all want to be free, but as soon as we are free we become enslaved by some other bondage, and mostly we move from the one enslavement to the other without being freed from old ones. We are also not prepared to offer up anything in this quest for freedom - and we value our freedom less than our comfort.
A few adages is worth mentioning here:
1. There is no such thing as a free lunch
2. The long walk to freedom is not easy anywhere.
3. Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains.
 
The one article I wrote was 'Cry freedom' in which I espoused the price of freedom and how we are never able or willing to pay that price. We will sell our birth right for a plate of lentil soup and we will trade our human right for food on the table. Why are we so careless about our freedom, and then say that it is the most important thing in our lives. Ask any Irishman what he values most.
The second article I wrote was on slavery and addiction where I espoused the idea that we are fools for addiction. As soon as a new fashion or aesthetic movement appears in the world, we are quick to follow it blindly. One case in point is the Aesthetic Movement in the 1870's in England. Gilbert and Sullivan wrote a very successful play on this movement and its futility in the comic opera named 'Patience'. In fact Oscar Wilde was specially sent to the USA on a lecture tour to explain the details of this movement to the Yankees in anticipation of the release of the opera in the USA.
And talking of Oscar Wilde - it is quite by accident that I said that I will be publishing his poem 'Ballad of Reading Goal' as our next poem and that I now write of the suffering of humankind under the hypocrisy of humankind - but that was no co-incidence, but that is the way of the muse.
I have personally found my way out of many things to which I was enslaved - things like racism, religious bondage, fear, pride and prejudice (sorry Jane Austen), blame, knowledge and a legion others - but that is not to say that I am not in bondage to a legion others still. It is a lifelong quest to pursue these addictions and bondages and identify them for what they are - scoundrels, mirages, deceptions and lies.
And lies are the biggest of them all. Once we accept a lie as the truth it becomes a bondage of the most vicious kind, because we believe so hard in its validity that we are prepared to die for it. Fifty five million people died in the Second World War due to the lies of the Nazis - which was thought by the Germans to be the ultimate truth. I have been on many crusades myself to defend lies which I thought were truths, but having become a sceptical person par excellence these days, these crusades have mostly been reduced in frequency and intensity.
We just need to watch American television to see what lies are dished out each day as truths. In fact, the word speculation, opinions and thoughts have become the gospel truth these days.
But coming back briefly to Oscar Wilde, whose case I do not support, but whose fate brings pain in my emotions. He was convicted in 1895 under the Victorian prohibition of homosexuality and served two years hard labour, after which he wrote 'The Ballad of Reading Goal' - referring to his reading of many books while in jail, in stead of the real name of the jail which was Wandsworth Prison in England. The case against him was fuelled by his lover's father, Lord Douglas for 'the love that dare not speak its name'. This is, for me, the cruellest type of hypocrisy that can be inflicted on a human being in the name of the values of society instituted by those who transgress them most. And if we think about it - that is the cause of most of the suffering of mankind.
Here are two verses from that poem:
But this I know, that every Law
That men have made for Man,
Since first Man took his brother’s life,
And the sad world began,
But straws the wheat and saves the chaff
With a most evil fan.
 
This too I know—and wise it were
If each could know the same—
That every prison that men build
Is built with bricks of shame,
And bound with bars lest Christ should see
How men their brothers maim.
 
Is there a way we can escape it? It does not seem so, but still, it must be addressed. And how I propose to do that is by reflecting on my own escape from other similar scenarios.
John 8:32 - Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
And I never realised fully that this verse was the crux of the matter and the way we should proceed in the prosecution of these bondages, because the origin of these bondages is the Lie and similarly the antidote must be the Truth.
We may begin at the first lie and the first bondage. Satan sold the lie the Eve, saying that if she ate from that tree, she would become like God. The fact is that she was like God - sinless, but eating from that tree made her become like Satan - wretched and sinful. And, as we have learned from this series, she started to die. The freedom she wanted turned into bondage - and you and I are still in that bondage if we associate ourselves with that tree and not with the Tree of Life.
And so it is in all our endeavours. We long for freedom and always end up in bondage. And therefore we seek that which we want from a place where we will certainly not find it. We seek life at the fount of death. We do not realise that it is the lie which got us here in the first place and it can only be the truth that can make us free.
And that is why I have this life-long quest in this blog for the truth and the stuff reality is made of, and both are so elusive to our senses, having been impregnated with the lie and with deception. However, the search for the truth is an ongoing one and sometimes we feel as if we are touching it, and as soon as that happens we suddenly feel the liberation. So our quest for freedom is really a quest for the truth, and that is why freedom fighters around the world always inherit doom, because truth is always the first casualty in any war.

Note added 29 November 2013.

Winston Churchill: 'Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.'
 
We all know that the truth is good and the lie is evil, so why do we bounce back from the truth and embrace the lie? Quite naturally, because the truth is inconvenient, embarassing, uncomfortable, strange and even humiliating - and the old adage says it hurts. So we choose the lie - or more accurately - we go into denial to cover the lie with cosmetics and icing sugar and so we enter into lala land or more accurately the land of the pretenders, neurotics, psychopaths, delusionals, politicians, terrorists, scientists and philosophers - and - there may even be a few preachers and salesmen too if you ask me.
 
When one gets delusional, you start writing books like 'The God Delusion'. The God Delusion is of course a contradiction in terms. It should rather say what it really is namely 'My delusion about God' - but that is the way of the lie and delusion in that it deflects the blame to someone else to hide our own delusion. Do we not all know what psychopaths do?
 
Although I cannot give you a deeper perspective today than this one, I am motivated even more in my search for the truth and I hope you are as well, as he who seeks shall find. The truth of that adage I have experienced many times in my life. I have the words of Les Miserables in my head:
Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men?
It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again.
When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums,
there is a life about to start when tomorrow comes.
Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me?
Beyond the barricade, is there a world you long to see?
Then join in the fight that will give you the right to be free.