The Worst Of All Possible Choices

Fear drives us down such wretchedly narrow paths, does it not? I feel like crying out in anguish even to think about it. Such wretchedly narrow paths, such wretchedly narrow paths, and all of them leading to the same terrible place. All of them leading to the same unimaginably dreadful  place. We kid ourselves, do we not, that the dreadfully narrow paths down which we travel will one day open up for us and provide us with space – space that we so badly need, space that we are so desperately crying out for in our hearts. We keep telling ourselves that relief is shortly at hand. We tell ourselves this and we believe it too – to some extent. It is a serviceable lie. We keep telling ourselves that blessed relief is just round the corner…


Those terrible narrow parts never widen out. They never will and they never can. That’s not the way things work. They do the opposite of opening out, they close in on us and they keep closing in. They never stop closing in. Oh how terrible are those narrow, narrow paths! How fearful is the way in which they keep closing in on us! They don’t lead anywhere, those paths – how can they when all they do is get narrower and narrower with each year that passes? These paths lead only to pain; they lead only to that pain which grows yet more terrible with every passing year. First it gets so that you can’t turned around anymore, and then it gets so that the jagged rocks on either side are tearing at your flesh. Before very long you can hardly even breathe; before very long it gets so you can only take the shallowest of breaths. And yet still you press on, still you press on and still you believe that the path is one day going to get you somewhere.


Fear gives us no choice, does it? Fear never gives us any choice. It strips us of all our choices, one by one. It takes everything we’ve got, every single last thing. Or rather it doesn’t take it, we give it up – we give up what is  precious to us in the forlorn hope that if we jettison everything we hold dear then we might be allowed to keep the one thing we really don’t want to give away, which is ourselves. We cling to this thought for all we’re worth. We think we have got some kind of deal going on. We don’t, of course. The deal is only in our heads – no one can make a deal with fear…


First it gets so you can’t move in any other direction and then get so you can’t think in any other direction either. You no longer have the capacity to question your choices. You just have to keep on with the choice you’ve made even though it’s not taking you anywhere, even though it’s the worst of all possible choices. You just have to go on where the narrow path of fear takes you and it takes to you to the place of which we have already spoken. It takes you to the place that is more frightening than the one you are running from and the only way to make the journey in any way bearable is to keep on telling yourself that blessed relief is at hand, that blessed relief is just around the corner. But what happens when we can no longer tell ourselves that? What happens when the lie gets too old, too transparent? What happens when the lie can no longer serve us? What happens then, my friends? Think on that, if you will…


I left the robot to prattle on as it wanted after this for I had no more to say. I left it to chatter away as it pleased, for I had no further use for it. I left it to go through its steps – the steps that make up its little robotic dance. ‘Come and see the robot dance!’ the big gaily-coloured fair-ground sign proclaims to anyone who will read it. Hear the robot telling its stories, and when it gets to the end of them hear it tell them all over again, for isn’t that the way with robots? Hear the robot talk like a living person, hear it call you by your given name, which only your father and mother know. Hear it tell your fortune, hear it speak of things that are yet to come. Hear it speak of events that happened a long, long time ago, and yet which have yet to happen. Hear it speak, if you will. Hear what it has to say concerning events which happened so very long ago, and yet which have yet to happen…








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