Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Epic of Mandala: Canto II

Mandala stopped and watched the protest for
A while, and read the signs demanding more:
more social justice and more distribution
Of wealth. Mandala thought, ‘Here’s much confusion.’
“My friends,” he said. “Do you not know that wealth
Can never be distributed? No health
Can be achieved by making sugars fair
In where they’re sent. The brain would whither. Care
Must first be made to understand what you
Must do if you’d achieve your goals. What true
Purpose is it you would achieve? Do you
Want wealth for all, or mere equality?
The first will make unequal and yet free;
The second with spread poverty and each
Must get unequal treatment. Who would teach
The lie that otherwise could be the case?
You’d break some legs so all could win the race?”
The crowd turned angry and began to shout.
“You’d dare defend the rich? You’d best get out
Of here, you racist, sexist, homophobe.”
“I’d love to stay here just so I could probe
The reasoning behind such accusations.
Is that what lies behind these demonstrations?
Your racist, sexist, homophobic thought
Breeds guilt that you project on others. Ought
You spend some time reflecting so that you
Can cure yourself and to yourself be true?”
The crowd began to move toward him, so
Mandala backed away. “It’s time to go.
Your ears are not prepared for truth. I hope
They are one day. But truth is hard to cope
With. May you fail so you’ll succeed. Goodbye.”
Mandala, saddened, left them with their lie.

The crowd continued yelling as he left.
He wondered at his failure, how bereft
Of influence his words had been. He came
To a café and saw inside a claim
Upon his time he always gave: his friend
Matthew was there. Mandala could depend
On him to listen, so he went inside
And sat, invited, by his favorite guide.
Mandala told his friend what happened just
Two blocks away. Matthew said, “Well, I trust
You learned a thing or two. Don’t waste a word
On people who insist that the absurd
Is possible or anything we’d wish.
They are the kind of people who think fish
Are soluble because they wish it so.”
Mandala said, “In truth, I think I know
Why they are out there. Not because of what
Their signs proclaim. I promise that is but
The surface.” “Well, then, tell me why they’re there.
It’s lack of social justice, they declare.”
“They protest so they will not have to think,
And all the while they fear that they will sink
To filling all their time with labor. They
Are both afraid to work and fear a day
Of contemplation lest they face the fact
That playtime’s over and they’ll have to act
And take responsibility for what
They do. They fear their conscience. It will cut
The fog of power they’ve been taught to lust
For, let embrace them, until they won’t trust
Each other, let alone one who would dare
To disagree with them – they cannot bear
The thought of being wrong – and thus they break
The natural social bonds, all for the sake
Of making social bonds that they believe
Are better. Why? Who knows? They’re too naïve.
In ignorance they will proclaim their will –
And they’ll use force to make sure we’ll fulfill
Their fever-dream of earthly heaven well,
And do not care their dreams all lead to Hell.”
Then Matthew asked, “You really think they all
Protest because they fear to hear the call
Of consciousness and conscience? That they fear
What leisure and thus thought will make them hear?”
Mandala nodded. “Don’t we fill our days
With work and noise? Our music, T.V. raze
Our thoughts when we won’t give ourselves the time
To think. Instead, we only always chime
In with the crowd and sheepishly declare
Our individuality is there
When all we ever do is go along.
We only ever sing another’s song.”
“You proclaim ‘we’ – do you include yourself?”
“I’m trying hard to get off of that shelf.
But don’t we always just accept most that
We hear? The knowledge which our brains grow fat
Upon was almost all created by
Another – we don’t test it all. Deny
What almost everyone believes is true
And you will find your social life is through.
They’ll treat you like you like to murder, rape –
And all because we are a social ape.
And yet, if we don’t sometimes break away,
It’s human progress that will always pay.”
“And what if you don’t think that we progress?”
“When you deny reality, the mess
Resulting will make you deny the arts
And culture, see just unconnected parts
That have to consciously be organized,
That government is what has harmonized
The social world. Too many think that force
Is needed to keep each man on his course.”

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