They forced us to be egos, they forced us to be selves. I saw them being herded into the Great Forcing Houses in their droves. I saw it with my own eyes. I saw them in the streets and in the other places. I saw them in their places of work. I saw upon them the mark of suffering, the dreaded mark of the ego-self. I am not exempt from this curse – I see that mark on my own face, when I peer into the mirror. I see it every day. I see the mark, I see that hideous mark, the hideous mark of affliction… I too was herded into the Forcing House, herded by the Faceless Herdsmen. Who are they, those Faceless Herders? Why do they herd us? What Dark Master do they serve? The Faceless Herders, the Faceless Herders. I was herded into the dreaded Forcing House, where I was forced to be an ego, where I was forced to be a self, and now I bear the mark, that mark of restriction. I see that mark as I sadly wander the streets, I see it wherever I look and that is why I am filled with such terrible sorrow. What a sad world it is that we live in, what a grim and joyless world. Even when we do see the occasional flicker of humour, the occasional flash of a smile, it only serves to highlight our loss. It only serves to highlight our plight. It is a brief glimmer of light within the darkness that only serves to remind us of what could have been, of what should have been. Restriction was forced upon us, the poison was injected into our very hearts and as the years went by we learn to cherish that poison, and pass it on to others. We pass it on to those we love. What a grim and terrible world this is – what was our crime that we should deserve such a fate? What was our crime, what was our crime? Is there no redemption? Everywhere I look see the mark of the ego–self, that harrowing indication of sorrow and despair, that Sinister Sigil of Satan, that mournful mask of madness, misery and melancholia. The mark of the ego, the mark of the ego-self – the hollow mask of misery that stares blankly back at me from the bathroom mirror. How I fear that mark! Breathe, breathe, I tell myself – keep on breathing – there is nothing you can do. There is nothing you can do. We know who the Prince of this world is. Were we not told? Were we not told? Is it not written? Were we not warned right from the very beginning? And still we let ourselves be herded into the Forcing House. And still we submit passively to the yoke. And yet still we submit meekly to the cruel dictates of the Demonic Herders. Do we not have any fight left in us at all?