We live in a landscape of questions—questions about who we are, what our purpose is, and how we fit into the grand puzzle of existence. It’s natural, in such a setting, to seek signposts, guideposts, anything that promises direction or meaning. Sometimes that yearning leads us to communities or philosophies that offer neatly packaged truths. “Follow these teachings,” they say, “and all will be clear.”

And for a time, it often is. The clarity, the sense of purpose can be euphoric. We’ve all experienced it—perhaps in a spiritual setting, maybe in a political rally, or even in the echo chambers of social media. The narrative differs, but the essence remains the same: Here is a set of beliefs, an ideology, a mantra that will steer you right.

So we chant the mantras. We espouse the ideology. We feel empowered, uplifted. Yet, the niggling questions at the back of our mind don’t quite disappear. They soften, perhaps, muffled by the strength of collective conviction, but they linger.

Why do they linger?

Because life, as it happens, is not a linear equation to be solved but a complex tapestry. Every individual thread—each thought, each emotion, each decision—adds depth and nuance to the bigger picture. A singular ideology or a captivating leader can, at best, illuminate one facet of this vast complexity.

The Vocabulary of Chains

“In Responsibility lies Freedom,” he began,
A liturgy woven to blindfold the clan.
He spoke, we nodded; his words set the mold
for a mantra recited, a psyche controlled.

“Your ability to respond,” he declared,
his sermon resounding in ears unprepared.
Convoluted notions in every phrase,
a labyrinth built from a semantic haze.

I pledged my belief, a vow I embraced,
‘I am responsible,’ a line we’ve all faced.
Yet tying my spirit by binding my will, this newfound rule
wasn’t just words; it was a self-imposed duel.

He said I was free, as I chanted each line,
but freedom, it seems, is a construct, a sign.
In shackles of syntax, my spirit confined,
the “freedom” he preached was a state of the mind.

(2022 © Julia Delaney)

mind control

Be Alive 🌱
Love ❤️, Julia

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