"confrontation with the strawman"

somewhere, out there, in there, a war over a soul is being waged;
the path sometimes feels so right, and yet..., who knows?

"I remember when being fearless was religion to me; any opportunity to give testament, to bear witness, was gratefully appreciated and accepted."

"What do you mean, religion?! You've never had the backbone for such, and you never will, hypocrite! What you call religion was just paranoid obsession. You couldn't look away from a point in space for fear your real self would emerge. And we both know how distatseful that would've been, would be."

"Bullshit! I took on all comers, focused, zeroed in on their puny minds and hearts, froze them in transit, made them squirm. They deserved it and I enjoyed it."

"Just a minute now! I give you that you're bright; and I give you that you're strong of will and concentration, but you wasted your talents, your insights, on petty displays of bravado and meaningless exercises of personal indifference and recklessness. You get the prize for mediocrity. Hurray!"

"No, no, no, no, no. I was a freedom fighter for the world; a bodhisattva, living to free Man from the tyrany of those who pleasure themselves by intimidating and coercing, browbeating others too gentle and sensitive to fight back. I took up that banner, my allegiance was to God, to Nature, to the One from which we all owe our very existence. I had no doubts as to the truth of what and who Man is and should be. I gave my life for that belief. It was, I mean, is, my religion."

"Words. Just words, not worth the air they're written on. You imagined the whole thing; you imagined your whole life, from the moment you dreamed you had realized some kind of breakthrough, a satori, or whatever you called it then. Yes, you've known power, personal power. But where did it take you; what did you do with it? Wasted... all wasted. You could never get rid of your darkest fear, and the rage, the hurt, the pain, all there, fueling this illusory power on which you based an empty life."

"I ran into some trouble, so? I didn't expect the way of the warrior to be easy. I knew there would be occasional setbacks. I ... had... to... live... according... to... the truth! I had to teach by example, do what I wanted, at all times, unrestrainedly, and fight for others to live and be the same so that they may have the opportunity to grow into their true selves, to act in the moment of action, to express without fear, and all who opposed this truth were my sworn enemies. That is the Way, God's Way. And as God knows Himself, Itself, through each and every one of us, we must be free to be. There is no other choice. That is my religion."

"More words. You clothe your weakness, your cowardice and selfishness with high-sounding words. Pitiful, pathetic, a creature of profane desires, filled with hollow promises, promises to your self never kept, promises to others given with conditions, conditions that set you free, free to be irresponsible, self-indulgent, isolated. Your 'religion' is an excuse, a rationalization. You've learned nothing in all these years, nothing but pain and unhappiness. You are unfulfilled and disatisfied, short-tempered and joyless. Was that the intention fom the beginning? To experience profund loneliness and despair?"

"I despaired of others. They would not listen, I tried to teach, they had but to listen to free themslves from fear, to experience for themselves the power of God coursing through their veins, the exhilaration of knowing who they are, truly who they are, no longer to act with restraint. I am alone, that is true enough. I long to return to the One, the Source of all that is, to be a part of the grand consciousness once again."

"Pish posh. You were afraid to feel. You hated your self. You believed you were a coward to be afraid so often as you were when a child. You knew much abuse, the abuse of not being recognized, of being treated as though you didn't matter. You had to beg, to grovel and humiliate yourself to receive so much as the slightest attention. And from that, from that experience, the seed of a powerful rage was planted, to grow into uncaring and unforgiving willfulness. A wound that has never healed. And, Oh yes, you did get back at them, the world, the enemies you imagined, created in the likeness of all who denied you the simplest joys of tenderness and caring..."

"Enough! You're wrong, dead wrong. O.K., so I grew up without my father and my mother wasn't there a lot and I had no friends and on and on... so what! A lot of people have had it a hell of a lot worse. That's life, I've accepted it. No, you're wrong, I've been, was, acting for the sake of a larger truth, to actualize God's Way, the Way Man should be living, fearlessly and with all due respect and dignity for Himself and others, transcending differences and make-believe identities and walls. In order to grow, we must have the freedom to act, at all times, for ourselves. That is the truth I have learned."

"Is it now. Well, I'll give you some truth if it's truth you want and love so much. You, sir, are afraid to be human. You want to bypass your humanity and know Godhood here on Earth. You have never accomplished this goal, this end you think you've known all this time. All this time during which you've dug a deep, deep hole of remorse and suffering for yourself. Have you noticed that no one ever comes to visit you? Have you noticed no one is overly pleased when they see you on the street? Oh, yea, they're pleasant enough, they even act glad sometimes. But it's a lie. The light you thought you were bringing to the world is in truth the darkness of your own mind turned in on itself."

"I've heard enough! I have to go now. I have much to do before it's all over... and as far as I'm concerned... the sooner the better."

"There, there; sometimes the light bulb won't come on 'till ya' screw it in tight, tight enough to break."