text and photo © Jonathan Zap
In every infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind forged manacles I hear…”
— William Blake, Songs of Innocence
My mother groaned! my father wept.
Into the dangerous world I leapt:
Helpless, naked, piping loud:
Like a fiend hid in a cloud.
Struggling in my fathers hands;
Striving against my swaddling bands;
Bound and weary I thought best
To sulk upon my mothers breast.
— William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience
The weeping child could not be heard;
The weeping parents wept in vain.
They stripped him to his little shirt,
And bound him in an iron chain.
— William Blake, “A Little Boy Lost,” Songs of Innocence and Experience
Born like this
As the chalk faces smile
As Mrs. Death laughs
As the elevators break
As political landscapes dissolve
As the supermarket bag boy holds a college degree
As the oily fish spit out their oily prey
As the sun is masked
Born like this
Into these carefully mad wars
Into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness
Into bars where people no longer speak to each other
Into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings
Born into this
Into hospitals which are so expensive that it’s cheaper to die
Into lawyers who charge so much it’s cheaper to plead guilty
Into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed
Into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes
Born into this
Walking and living through this
Dying because of this
Muted because of this
Because of this
Fooled by this
Used by this
Pissed on by this
Made crazy and sick by this
The heart is blackened
The fingers reach for the throat
The fingers reach toward an unresponsive god
The fingers reach for the bottle
We are born into this sorrowful deadliness
We are born into a government 60 years in debt
That soon will be unable to even pay the interest on that debt
And the banks will burn
Money will be useless
There will be open and unpunished murder in the streets
It will be guns and roving mobs
Land will be useless
Food will become a diminishing return
Nuclear power will be taken over by the many
Explosions will continually shake the earth
Radiated robot men will stalk each other
The rich and the chosen will watch from space platforms
Dante’s Inferno will be made to look like a children’s playground
The sun will not be seen and it will always be night
Trees will die
All vegetation will die
Radiated men will eat the flesh of radiated men
The sea will be poisoned
The lakes and rivers will vanish
Rain will be the new gold
The rotting bodies of men and animals will stink in the dark wind
The last few survivors will be overtaken by new and hideous diseases
And the space platforms will be destroyed by attrition
The petering out of supplies
The natural effect of general decay
And there will be the most beautiful silence never heard
Born out of that.
The sun still hidden there
Awaiting the next chapter. — Charles Bukowski
Sometimes the soul is imprisoned by incarnation in the Babylon Matrix.
Sometimes the soul feels imprisoned by incarnation, but the bondage is of its own making.
In the first case you need to have the compassion for yourself and others that the world did not have for you.
Many forces beyond individual control can imprison the soul — war, political oppression, economic forces, gender oppression, oppression based on race, religion, sexual orientation or mutant divergence of various sorts. The oppression could be an ailing body that imprisons the soul with its mortal limitations. Not every form of oppression can be reduced to negative thinking or neurotic complex. Only the very sheltered and naive believe that everyone is creating his own reality.
On the other hand, very often it is we who imprison our own souls. We give our power over to another, look for wholeness outside of ourselves, reach for bottle, pill or powder. We suffocate within the cocoon of our own illusions.
Sometimes we imprison our souls by disowning our essence and betraying our True Will. As Blake says, “Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires.” The desires he means are the desires of our soul, not those of our reptile brain.
Consider this a propitious time to have compassion for yourself and others who are imprisoned by external forces of oppression. But if you yourself are the warden of you own soul’s imprisonment, consider this a propitious time to throw off the shackles of self-imposed bondage and liberate yourself into life.