Friday, March 02, 2007

Of Freedom and Of Chains

A Reaction to George Orwell’s 1984,
as performed by The Actors’Gang

I watched as the bruised and bloodied man on stage was further beaten for two hours. Soon, I began to consider the “polarization of fear”, borrowing James Redfield's phrase from The Tenth Insight, and its consequences.

The play expresses a view on a possible evolution of a state towards a horrifying norm in its effort or belief in its ability to create a well-contained environment…in the name of order, in the name of protection, in the name of peace-for its people. Totalitarianism a.k.a. a deliberate enclave where its inhabitants shall become accustomed to endless limits of thought and living. Such limits brought on by glorification and celebration of fear. In fact, its national flag becomes fear itself. And its bearers shall defend them till the very end at the cost of such atrocity as being open to loss of life by means of its leash pulled tighter and tighter next to its final knot till it is stained with blood upon blood. In that dwelling, one gets convicted just because of disagreeable thoughts with the order of the state.

What I saw tonight was a play. I am glad. I am free to walk the streets with a loved one at night. I am free to form my own thoughts in my mind. I am free to write them out here. I am so glad. And I so much hope our societies all over the world would not come to that point. Where our every move is watched and doubted. Where every second is a possibility for us to be a target of a senseless ego issue.

At the same time, the play aims to reach minds, hearts and souls. For while we go on living our dailies, while we laugh, while we complain about the mundane, while we dream, events are unfolding around us, whether we observe it or not…wars erupting, identities being stolen, private spaces invaded, neighbors violated, minds clouded. These are examples of fear’s manifests. Common as everyday. More common now as the next cup of coffee. And cumulatively may result to what a free soul could not fathom. Fear begetting fear. And so on.

If we are not careful with our society, the balance may tip for it to evolve the other way…away from peace, away from enlightenment, away from love. Eventually, so far away from our higher selves. And this dark vision may truly become our existence. May God forbid.

After this reaction, I inwardly celebrated my soulful company, the impressive theater, and the beautiful night downtown. And I am just glad to be sharing a warm chocolate cake with someone* before heading home and worrying about it more.
30 September 2006
Wortham Center’s Cullen Theater
Houston, Texas