I’ve got lost in the intricacies of the task. The more I engage with it the more intricate it gets. The harder I work at it the bigger it grows – it stretches ahead of me forever, there’s no end to it. Thinking this fills me with fear and dread, it fills me with a peculiar kind of hopeless sadness. This is a sadness I’m not supposed to know about, a sadness that no one is supposed to know about. It is an awareness of the truth that no one’s supposed to see. It’s a prohibited awareness – if you tell anyone about it they’ll think you’ve got a condition. They’ll put you on Prozac. They’ll put you on Effexor. This is a sadness we’re not allowed to feel. It’s also a terror that we’re not allowed to see – the terror of the task, the terror of the task that never ends.
I live in a world that is made up of the task and this is the only world I know, the only world I’m allowed to know. What does ‘the task’ mean, I ask myself? What IS the task? What are we supposed to achieve? What does it entail, what does it mean, what does it signify? For me, it only signifies one thing – it signifies tyranny. It signifies the tyranny of the task that never ends. It’s a thing that’s held over you, a thing that you can’t question. You’re just supposed to get on with it and not ask about it. You’re just supposed to keep at it and not ask why. What are we doing though? It’s a thing with no purpose, a thing that serves no end. Or rather it does serve an end but that end is itself. Does that make sense, I wonder? It makes sense to me, anyway. It’s an end in itself and yet the only possible point of it would be if it lead onto something else, something other than itself, something of value. That’s what we’re told; that’s what we are led to believe. They keep waving the flags, they keep sending in the cheer-leaders, they keep coming out with the motivational speeches.
The only possible value of the task is that it leads on to something else, something that actually does have value, and yet it doesn’t. That’s the Great Lie! The Great Lie is that it does when it doesn’t. If you ask people what the Great Lie is they won’t know, or else they’ll think that it’s something else. They’ll babble on about something that they think is the Great Lie but they’ll be wrong. The Great Lie is all around us – it’s all the things we do, all the things we think, all the systems we take part in, all the structures we buy into. It’s the world we’ve been sold – the big ugly world. We’ve been told that it exist for the sake of various values such as truth and love and beauty and happiness but it doesn’t; it exists only for itself, just as a miser keeps his gold only for himself. Only there’s no gold, there’s nothing of any real value there at all.
We’re told that the task leads somewhere but it doesn’t – it leads only to itself. And of itself, by itself, it has no value whatsoever. The only possible good in it would be if it took us somewhere else but it won’t. It won’t ever take us anywhere. Not ever ever ever. That’s the surest thing in the whole wide world – that the task won’t ever take us beyond itself. This is ‘the Terror of the Task’. Do we see it, though? That’s the question – do we see the Terror of the Task? The answer is that we don’t. It’s very very rare that we do. People have other things on their minds. Do you ever hear anyone talking about the Terror of the Task? I never do. People don’t see that it stretches ahead of them forever and that there’s no end to it. We don’t see that the more we engage in it the more of it there is. We’re not permitted to see this. We’re told otherwise.
That’s the modern world we’re living in – it’s eating us alive. The more we play ball with it the more it multiplies, the more it proliferates, the more it traps us in its coils. The more forms we fill in the more forms there are to fill in. The more procedures we obey the more procedures there are to obey. The more policies we follow the more policies get invented. By the people whose job it is to invent them. That’s their part in the task! The harder we work the more work there is to do, but no one ever talks about this. We’re all too busy. We’re told that it’s the way forward; we’re told that it’s right, we’re told that the responsible thing to do is get on with the task so that all the great and good things can happen as a result of this. But that’s not ‘the truth’; that’s the Great Lie…