Knowledge can be such a troublesome gift. As the door to enlightenment opens suddenly a new vision of the world pours in rapidly. It is one that opens the eyes to something beyond what is before us. Suddenly it is not enough to read the lines, but one feels a burning desire to read beyond the words and to understand why the words are arranged in a particular way and to what degree they are significant. At the age of 21, I find myself often thinking silently within my head about the complexities of love, life, god, humanity and the like. There is a part of me that seeks to understand so much that I no longer understand what once seemed like simple knowledge. There is now no doubt that those of us who think that we are free have failed to recognize the intellectual and spiritual bondage that we have been captured in. My thoughts, my interests, my style, my speech, my beliefs and my god have all been influenced by outside sources and institutions of socialization that seek, even if unintentionally, to control and hinder me from finding or perhaps creating myself in this large world. It is impossible for one to recognize and understand the bondage they've been in and not wonder what it's like to be free--to live a life where the internal desires and interests that tug at one's spirit become the essence of external expression. It is in this context and through this experience that one is influenced to turn themselves inside out for the world to see them for who they are and not who they were expected to be.
As glorious as freedom is, it comes with a price. For it is a courageous act, to stand in the midst of an army of self-proclaimed prophets and soldiers who would have you believe that their way is the only way and that all other paths lead to condemnation and suffering... Those same soldiers, slaves to dead traditions, who claim righteousness through definitions and standards they themselves create all the while twisting the words of an "omnipotent" creator while simultaneously swinging swords indiscriminately as if all power rests within their own tongues. You see, there is a growing frustration that is implicit in these words. For my eyes can no longer ignore a deadly disease that has poured into the pews, the pulpit, the streets of ghettos, suburbs, voting booths, classrooms, locker rooms, dormitories, and all other places where ignorance and hate can fit. There is a chance that we will face persecution if we question the "norm", but there will certainly be death and suffering if we all walk blindly in the same direction out of fear.