Posted in power, spirituality

A Parable of Power

He was born afraid. Afraid that the world into which he had been ejected would consume him, eat him up until nothing was left. So before he was able to know it, he made his decision: he would eat up the world instead. He would consume everything that threatened him, bring it into himself, control it so that it wouldn’t threaten him any more. Then the fear would be gone.

He cloaked his fear with hunger; hunger for safety and security. And because he thought the world was full of enemies, that hunger became a hunger for power. Only having power over others would make him safe; he had to control others, so that they couldn’t control him. He had to eat them up or they would eat him.

The strange thing was, that the more he ate, the more powerful he became, the more hungry he was. There were always new dangers, new enemies. He gained more and more power, and became more and more afraid, more and more hungry.

Then one night, he had a nightmare – or was it a dream? As the dream began he was in his usual waking state – full of power, but even more full of fear and hunger. But even more powerful was the figure that confronted him. He couldn’t see them clearly, but they appeared to be no more than a small child. Even so, he was completely in the power of this other; all his deepest fears were coming true. And in the grip of that overwhelming power, he found himself doing something he could not imagine, something beyond his waking fears. He found himself giving power away. A crowd had appeared around him of the poor, the wounded, the homeless, and he was giving power to them. He was giving them the ability to feed, and heal and house themselves – at the cost of his own power over them. But there was one even stranger thing in the dream. As he gave away his power, his hunger was becoming less. And he awoke.

A dream? No, it was a nightmare, he decided. And in the morning he redoubled his effort to make sure that in waking life no-one would ever control him in that way. And his hunger grew and grew.