I don’t know if anyone knows what it means to be ‘Living Under The Shadow’ – I don’t know anyone that I can talk to about that. No one knows this thing – and yet I do. I know it, in some kind of a confused and uncertain way, but I am not sure how to go about explaining it. If I had the power, I would put this understanding down on paper; somehow – though – I fear that this task is beyond me. I must try however, I must try. Even if I fail, I must try…
Imagine that there is a man, a Man of Darkness. He is taller than the trees, taller than a mountain and his shadow falls over all of us. We all walk in his shadow – his shadow consumes us all! This ‘shadow’ is his will for us, his control of us; what he wills for us we think we will for ourselves and so we can never step out of his shadow. When we are under his shadow we do his bidding without ever knowing it; when we are under his shadow we do not exist, and yet we think that we do. We have only a shadow existence. His will is our will and his will is that we shall ever be his slaves. His will is that we shall ever be poor shadows…
Generations come and go and all live under the shadow of the Man of Darkness, he who stands taller than the trees, he who stands taller than the tallest mountain range. What we want, what we think, never counted for anything and never will do for as long as we live under his shadow – this shadow that we call the whole world, this shadow that is the only world we will ever know. Our will doesn’t count for anything – it is an infinitely feeble vestigial reflex, that’s all – it’s a ‘non-functional organ’. We should have used it once in a while, but we didn’t. This ‘Man of Darkness’ is the Creator God as far as we are concerned – he has created our world. We don’t realise that this world is merely his shadow. It’s no world at all, but it’s the only world we have. It’s no life at all, but it’s the only life we have. It’s the Shadow Life that he gives to us.
This being the case, it is our lot to fear the light. All creatures of darkness must fear the light, must they not? Must we not? We might hate the shadow world, we might loathe it and fear it for what it is, but we fear the light more. We always fear the light more. We fear to peer out from under the cloak of the Man of Darkness, we won’t stick our heads out for any price! For us, the light is fear itself and we deny it at every turn. The lie we all subscribe to is the Great Lie, the lie that the Shadow itself is light, the lie that the Shadow is all the light we will ever need, the lie that there is nothing worthwhile outside of the Shadow. We blindly subscribe to the lie that the terribly chill shadow is not a shadow, and that we poor controlled creatures are not children of darkness. This lie fuels our most terrible acts – it both fuels these acts and excuses them.
If the Man of Darkness were to walk away and leave us then we would have no more shadow to cling to; we would be exposed to the light, the light we have spent our whole lives denying, and so we can imagine no fate worse than this. This is the nature of our terrible dependency – we hate and fear the Man of Darkness, and yet we fear being without him even more. We will always come crawling back to him, our tails between our legs, ready to accept the cruel punishment that he, in his wrath, is going to mete out to us. We will accept this punishment as we always accept it, for we know no other way.
And yet – despite all that we have just said – there is a sense in which our grim master allows us a bit of freedom, a taste of freedom at least. In a certain provisional sort of way we are ‘left in peace to be ourselves’; we do not for the most part feel the weight of the yoke that is upon us – the illusion of freedom (at least) is given to us. The iron fist is sheathed within the velvet glove, only to come out on the rare occasion, only to come out when it is really needed. For this reason we can all say that we are free, and feel moreover that we mean what we say. We can say loudly that we are free, and honestly believe what we say. It is – for the most of the time at least – almost as if we are free and so we need look no further than this. If we were to see the cruel yoke that lies upon us all the days of our lives then we would not be able to find the strength to continue. ‘The crop would fail’ – have you not heard this phrase before? Some poor illusion of free will is needed or else the crop will fail. Or else the crop will surely fail.
When the time comes however for the Man of Darkness, who is taller than all the trees, taller than all the mountains, to reassert himself, then this takes no effort on his part. Whatever poor illusion of free will we have, it is taken away from us so easily, so very easily. It is easier than taking candy from a baby. It is taken away from us easily as it is because it was never there in the first place. I wonder if our dark Master even knows that he is doing anything when he takes our freedom away. Would he not take it as his due? It must be like stretching out one’s arm to pick up a cup – there is no feeling of overcoming any resistance, one simply exerts one’s will and it is done. Us poor hapless human creatures spring up immediately to do his bidding and we don’t even know that he exists…
The Dark Master doesn’t have any consideration or regard for us at all. We exist to enact his will and that is all as far as he’s concerned. Maybe he would be aware of us if we had the strength to actually resist his will but we don’t. Maybe he would be pissed off then; maybe he would be angered and would bring his full force to bear down on us then, to break us asunder. I don’t know – I can only imagine. This much I do know however – that what we want and think and do is just some kind of illusory freedom that has allowed us in order to keep us going – it could all be taken away from us in an instant if he so wished. Our existence is a sham; we don’t exist at all. Just as long as we live in his shadow we have only a make-believe existence, a fantasy existence that can be revoked at the top of a hat. If we truly want existence then we would have to earn it, and who amongst us is ever going to take that on?
My own part, all I feel is fear when I think of earning my freedom. What I feel is fear. All I know is fear. My awareness has shown me something it is true – it has provided with me with a terrifying knowledge of my own weakness. It has provided me with a paralyzing awareness of my own weakness. Now, I truly know just how weak and ineffectual I actually am, and I also know just how dark is the shadow that covers us all. We can’t even get close to imagining just how powerful he is, this Man of Darkness in whose shadow we walk every day. Even to try to explain this to someone would be to be met with instant (and probably hostile) incomprehension – who on earth is even going to listen to you?