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Stalking Vol 2: The Bridge of Reason

risk and terror are memorials to your self-image. Your superior attitude told me that you’re
keeping a secret that undermines your basic camouflage of an affable intellectual, whose
adventures have made you a just and fair man, if not always wise in his impetuous incursions
into other’s lives. Our society has also effectively thrown you away, because of what your
experiences did to you." She looked at me for a piercing moment. "Another of your deepest
secrets that supports self- loathing is about courage. You don't think you have any, which is why
you act in verbally brutal ways to prop yourself up."
Snorting at the idea, I said, "Really, what do I have to be frightened of?"
"I thought you’d catch on by now." Resettling in her seat, she said, "You’ve made your
secrets monuments to your misery, and altars from which you defend them with the forces at
your disposal. This is not closure; it is the end of a cycle in which their momentum has caught up
with you, and now it's tearing you apart from within." She let that idea settle in my mind for two
"America portrays their powerfully virtuous selves through military incursions that
essentially defend their bloody history as a memorial to their national- image. They are also
keeping a secret from themselves about true courage, because the politics of fear have taken hold
of their reasoning. Like you, they relentlessly express their fear through what have become more
than acceptable acts, but what is now seen as acts of courage, such as killing whoever the
government tells them are impinging on their freedom: the courage implied comes from facing
death in defense of their country. The courage fighters infer comes from having the balls to kill
people. This idea meets its maker on the battlefield for those who realize it was really about
beliefs, and you can’t defend or kill anything that has no substance. The abstraction of country
remains the country, but it is tainted by the caretakers of its values failing to perceive the
underlying nature of their actions. The caretakers also make up the culture, so their culture is
diminished. As we have discussed at length, reason overrules that which diminishes our vie w of
ourselves, and too- few have the real courage to face that view. The meek justify it, because the
original atrocity came from fear. This is what you are doing when you rant in defense of your
ideas about yourself."
"I don’t kill people."
"You kill your relationships when they impinge on your secrets." She motioned the
redundant point aside. "Peaceful societies have thrown America away as a true friend, because
they fear what they’ve become. There can be no real trust, because peaceful societies know there
is no courage involved in killing anything. Living properly requires it by the bucket load." She
raised her brow.
"I get that much, but…"
"But your reasoning is standing in the way of applying it to your own life." She shifted in
her seat. "My point is that you've seen the consequence of cultural conformation through the
suppression of individuality in some cultures, and the surreptitious directing of beliefs in others,
so that people fit in. Both are stereotypical..."
"Lost me," I interrupted. "Directing of beliefs?"
"Trucks, clothing, guns, and attitudes varied only to the extent that males were named after
their grandfathers, who were named after Civil War Generals or Apostles. One dog in each
household was named Blue, because that was what a good hound sounds like when he’s on the
hunt. Even a tree was a common cultural reference point, and they all went to church to display
their commitment to conformation. Take everything I said about America, substitute the word
religion for patriotism, and you’ve got another match."