I remained in San Francisco after release from active duty in the Navy, which occurred in September, 1972, until my father persuaded me to live in Michigan, the move occurring in May, 1973. It was good that I made the move, because it soon became clear that my worldly exposure and variant ideas excluded me from fitting in with family and former friends. The term "good" was used above because this "moving home" experience inoculated me against ever again being tempted to make the same mistake, after moving to Los Angeles in August, 1975.
I was permanently out of sync with Midwestern kith and kin, whereas back in California I blended in perfectly and felt at home. Since returning to California, though I've not grown wealthy in other respects, there are great riches in having the freedom to evolve nearly unobstructed by provincial and other nonessential limitations. My motto has become "A mind is a terrible thing to chain."
However, I've discovered, both to my amazement and chagrin, that chains are lurking everywhere, even in Southern California, and one must be clever to avoid them. They hang in great numbers from churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, lodges, and schools, and from all over the workplace. Additionally, many people are bedecked with loose chains to be attached to other people with whom they come in contact. The greatest number of chains are entangled about families, between parents and children and relatives and friends, sometimes to the point of choking off oxygen. Some of these chains are pulled so tight that one or more of those connected feel a great need to break loose, often succeeding only to find themselves enmeshed again elsewhere. We run, yet from what we know not.
So, what is my answer to chains? Universally, I say loosen them much as possible. Let people breath. Don't feel compelled to yank a chain or break it and send someone hurtling off just because they don't have your faith or belief structure, all of your philosophies and opinions, and all your countless etceteras. Bask in the adventures and colors of differences. Encourage minds to unravel concepts from their environment and reconstruct according to their own, personal lights. Don't make little junior or Miss become like Papa or Grandma just because that is the standard by whom everyone is measured. That's all I ask. Not so much.
As mankind fills the earth and people become increasingly crowded together, loosening or removing chains is the only way we can ever escape mass insanity. This process needs to be done on an individual basis as well as institutionally. But it will require an inspired and valiant effort, as aspirants will be flying in the face of eons of chain forging, and it will threaten the livelihoods of those who live, or receive their power, off the process of capturing, chaining, or maintaining chains. Good luck!
Copyright 1998 Charles W. Paige
Last modified: Saturday September 25, 1999
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