Thursday, March 15, 2012

Those Damn Tool Hoarders

I had a dream...

I was living in a world where everyone shared all of their tools. In every country, state, city and small town, no citizen owned any of their own hammers, screwdrivers or nails. There were countless shops conveniently located everywhere, which supplied the citizens with all the tools they would need to complete any project, big or small.

Because everyone shared all of their tools, they adopted a mentality of "treat the tool in the way you'd like others to treat it" and this made everyone want to take care of what they collectively shared.  Each tool store had a simple check-in/check-out procedure that was based more on the honor system than anything. No governments agencies had to monitor this because the people trusted one another.

But then one day, a man named Stan realized that after he was done with the power-saw, he may end up needing it again in a week, so he kept it. Afterwards, he realized how good he felt knowing he had his own collection of tools, just waiting for him, so he decided he wanted to hold onto all the tools he rented, and no longer return them when he was finished. He currently had no use for any of the tools, but he felt better thinking they belonged to him and were being saved somewhere just for his use.

And slowly this mentality was adopted by many, many citizens around the world. No one was willing to share and everyone began to hoard all the tools they could. No one was thinking about whether or not they needed the tool, but they felt safer thinking it belonged to them.

Generations came and went that it was now normal to be a tool hoarder. Friends would be walking down the street talking to one another, when they'd spot a drill-bit sitting on the pavement and race to pick it up first.

"Look what I found, I just found it sitting on the ground!"
"Yeah, I feel bad for whoever lost that, cause it's ours now!"

A great divide began to form between the tool hoarders and those who had no tools. And as time moved on, the divide only became wider. The families that had been hoarding tools for many generations now had so many tools they did not know what to do with all of them and let them sit in a bank where they could be protected and accumulate value. Other families who had not been collecting for as long had much less, sometimes no tools at all.

With this imbalance of tools, their entire economy started to suffer. Those who had no tools claimed it was not fair that the rich had more. And the rich claimed it was not fair that they were forced to share tools, because they had "earned" their tools them selves. The rich loved the idea of hoarding the tools as much as the poor did, but neither side seemed to be able to recognize this.

Neither side was willing to budge, but every citizen felt the same way:
That they would be happier and their lives easier if they just had more tools. They NEEDED to have more tools.

They got so wrapped up in fighting over the tools that the tool it self became more important than what the tool could be used for. The people forgot that the tools were simply inanimate objects that could do nothing without the creative power of the individual wielding it. 

So much time had passed that no one could remember when they shared their which
were never meant to be collected, stored or hoarded, sitting in a bank vault somewhere doing nothing, but rather always in movement, always being passed along to someone who was ready to put them to good use.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Demiurge

There was once a magical town called Haven. At one time this Haven was home to many, but now it was only home to one: A God named Bythos. She was responsible for keeping the town in good working order, which she had done for all eternity. After some time, the isolation of her work made her bored and lonely.

One day she decided she was ready for a change, and so she roamed the streets looking for something different. Surrounded by row after row of Grecian-style buildings, she stopped at one and walked inside.
She walked down a few aisles and saw a hanging sign with the words "Maya" written on it. Just below the sign was a metal, spiral staircase. She gripped the railing, taking one last look at the bright light from outside before descending into the darkness below.
The room was not bright but had an Earthy glow to it. Saturated Reds, Blues and Greens covered the walls. At the bottom of the staircase was a stage, a bright yellow spotlight pointed at it. Next to the stage was a bookcase full of books.

Bythos descended the stairs and picked a book to read from. It was a play. She let her eyes move over the words of the characters. As she read, she noticed a peculiar thing start to happen, her body seemed to swell with feelings. She recognized the thoughts and emotions, senses that her body had not felt for a long time.

Bythos loved the feelings and wanted more, so she read on. The play was filled with many different characters, each of which came with a wide spectrum of desires, beliefs and emotions. When Bythos was finished reading the play, she felt drained of her energy. She had allowed herself to feel and think the way each of the characters had. And while she was tired, she was eager for more.

This time when she grabbed a book of plays, she decided that she'd read each characters part out loud. When she did this, she was pleasantly surprised to see that she Felt even more. It seemed the more she got lost in the words, thoughts and emotions, the more intense the feelings became. 

Bythos understood that the plays were not real, that they were make-believe stories with make-believe characters. But she enjoyed getting lost in them. She liked the way it felt to attach to the characters and their desires, beliefs and emotions. Reading the lines out loud allowed Bythos to get more lost in the illusion that was the play. And whether the play was a comedy or a tragedy, Bythos was just happy to be on the ride.

But all that wasn't enough, she wanted to really immerse herself in what the characters were going through. She decided to make a duplicate of herself, one for each of the different characters in the plays she was acting out. And to make it easier for her to believe she was acting opposite another separate individual, she had each of the Bythos wear a different costume and mask. Now, Bythos could play both Julius Caesar and Brutus simultaneously.

Bythos got lost in all of the characters she played. At times she was so immersed in her role that she forgot she had lines already prepared and began to go with what her emotions told her instead. She didn't always like what she said or what others said to her. And this make-believe fantasy slowly turned into more of a nightmare. She started to forget that these plays were for fun, that she was pretending. She was no longer enjoying the roller-coaster ride of emotions, but feeling lost in them instead.

The sensations inside Bythos became stronger and stronger. She became anxious and depressed, wondering what was wrong with her. She began to lose herself more and more in each of the characters that she played, losing sight of her true identity and believing that she was one single character and nothing more.

All this, simply because Bythos had gotten lost in her imagination, unable to see the reality in front of her. Each person whom she feared, disliked or hated, each character in her life who made her feel something she didn't like, behind each of their masks was just another Bythos, lost in their own make-believe world and their own make-believe character. 

She had forgotten...