Here Told the Story of
The Tragedie of Those Who Dare to Think
For once upon a time within a very modern world, a child was found who seemed himself Imagination though personified, yes, born in flesh and blood and seeming as a youthful man of grace and intellect and beauty rare and looked upon and praised at first by all the world.
Yet even as this man who dared to think, yet even as he sought to flourish by solutions and ideas untried in times before, when he did seek to right a wrong or cure the ign’rant disposition in the world of man, against him came a multitude, determined more with every incident, to bring about his death by painful enterprise.
Alack, wise as he was, he never could believe or understand that thought was never meant for man, nor was imagination such a welcome citizen in man’s society. Yet fort’nately this man who dared to think, he had a friend who seemed himself the fleshly form of Wisdom born, and Wisdom always spoke at length disparaging plain the thinking man because he dared to love and sought to help society of man, society that by its history had persecuted even to the death all those who dared to think or bring imagination to an undeserving world.
Though Wisdom spoke as would a bearded, white-haired father to a son, the man who dared to think did vehemently argue and assert that he would go into society to teach man how to, by imagination, mend his ills and solve the problems plaguing him. Yet even as the man who dared to think did leave, did Wisdom offer carefully advice that sounded much like this:
“My son who dares to think to better man,
‘Tis noble though a certain poisoned drink;
But soft, know you that ever since the world began,
Man’s persecuted those who’ve dared to think.
To better man is vain, as time has shown .
You’ll learn that man is better left alone.”
You’ll learn that man is better left alone.”Well now, this man who dared to think, he loved his ancient, wrinkled, battered, white-haired friend no less than e’er a son had e’er a father loved, and yet he knew that sons eventually should try the world and suffer to the end for finding wisdom of their own, that youth should aptly learn from age and its experience, but with ambition seek a better lot than those who’ve lived before. He gently kissed his aged friend and offered thanks for such advice, departing with these words:
“Imagination is the hope for man…
What Wisdom can’t, Imagination can.”
And with those words, the man who dared to think went out into the world, when walking thoughtfully along a road all lined with trees for several thousand miles, he saw a group of men within the trees who cursed aloud and seemed to be unhappy with their lots in life. Approaching carefully, he spoke like this:
“For all your sufferings, I love you well, but come down to the earth and tell me who you are.”
In answer, one bold man climbed from the tree and gave response like this:
“We’re working men and we hate work, yet we are forced to climb these trees and pick this poison fruit. We do it every day of every year, and we will do it till we die. Our fathers did the same as did their fathers before them. And when we die our children who live after us are doomed to pick this poison fruit.”
“If it is poison fruit,” so said the man who dared to think, “of what good use is it to anyone? Why do you pick it off the trees?”
Another worker answered, saying this:
“An idiot you are! For it is obvious that poison fruit is bad to eat! We cannot leave it on the trees lest it be picked illegally and sold or taken home and used as food. Already in the world a multitude has died for eating it while it has made ten thousand thousand others sick. For that is why we’re doomed to such a pointless life of picking poison fruit!”
“The sun is cruelly hot!” said one. “The days are long and nights too short!” another said. “They do not pay us much!” complained a third, and finally the man who dared to think, he sat for days and thought a while, and after many weeks of sitting watching all that passed before his eyes, he stood and jub’lantly proclaimed:
“My friends and brothers here, a good solution I have found for all your woes, but you must with me to the King at once, for with his help I’ll make you happy men and free from such a lot in life!”
Well now, at once the men climbed from their trees to follow then the thinking man when, as they walked, they came across a group of men with giant barges on their backs.
“What are you men?” called loud the thinking man to which an answer came like this:
“We carry giant barges on our backs, these filled with poison fruit. We make our way to find the men who learned in school to burn the poison fruit, but O! Alas! Our backs are breaking under over-heavy loads. I am a man whose back was broken twice; my father broke his back a final mortal time, and still my son who is not yet a man will break his back one day for sure. Please let us go to find the men who learned in school to burn the poison fruit, for mark our trembling knees! O heavy are these giant barges full of poison fruit!”
“Wait but a while with me!” said thinking man, and, sitting once again for many weeks, he rubbed his head for thought and to the many thousand trembling men who struggled to support the heavy crates he said,
“Put down your heavy loads, you men who bear the poison fruit, and follow after me, and with the several thousand men who pick the poison fruit, we’ll make entreaty to the King. I have solutions for your many ills, ideas to bring the best to man’s society.”
And so, at once the men who bore the giant barges full of poison fruit, they heaved a heavy sigh and with the men who picked the fruit, they followed close behind the man who dared to think.
Not after many hours walking up the road the thinking man and those who followed him, they chanced upon a certain group of several hundred men who clearly could be seen as men who learned in school to burn the poison fruit.
Their skin seemed black though rich and clean and smooth to touch, while on their heads it seemed the hair had curled, protecting heads and minds from worldly heat. To these skilled men did thinking man call out to say,
“The day is surely hot, but how is it with all you men who know the special method learned in school to burn the poison fruit?”
To this the master of these men came close to say,
“We’re scorched by sun and by our ovens burned so that the very flesh is falling from our bones. Our lungs are ever filled with poison smoke that makes us cough great quantities of blood into our mouths, and yet, in spite of this, we want to burn more poison fruit as this is what we do. But stay a while and tell me, friend, why is it that so many follow after you?”
The opportunity then given him, the man who dared to think, he sat again, and finally though after many days, with joy he stood and called aloud,
“Burn poison fruit no more! For I have found a way to cure your every ill! Come follow after me to see the King!”
Then with great haste, these men did bathe themselves and gladly followed after O so large a hopeful crowd.
They travelled many years through tortuous path and painful circumstance until at last they came upon the gate and went into the city of the King, when all along the walls around the city of the seeming stately magistrate were peasants suff’ring lying there.
For look! A multitude that was ten thousand thousand writhed and groaned and covered thick palatial ground for many miles as far as eyes could see. The man who dared to think at once called out aloud for all those suff’ring on the ground to hear,
“Your suffering is surely obvious to me and all the men who follow after me, but speak you plain to tell me why you suffer here.”
Well now, unknown to many gathered suff’ring there, within their midst were some who falsely groaned, were some whose suff’ring was a fabrication used to further darker purposes. In answer to the man who dared to think, these treach’rous politicians seized an opportunity to stir the crowds to frenzied fits of anger speaking words whose purpose was to undermine the King, so one imposter offered this,
“The King’s to blame! Because he’s made us poor and miserable, we’re forced to steal and eat the poison fruit. If we could only end the fruitless suffering that we endure, we’d organize ourselves and seek election of another king, for though we’re paid by government to languish as we do, it does not end our suffering, and while the King has hired many skilled physicians who have never slept since first they came, the air is full of suffering and pain and death. What problems that there are in man’s society!”
Well now, the man who dared to think looked out and, seeing then an hundred thousand thousand who were sick and weak who had not strength or even confidence to raise their humble heads, he sat and wept an hundred forty days until physicians crowded ‘round to diagnose his misery.
“I am not ill,” so said the thinking man. “I look around and weep for all this pain and agony.”
“Then weep for us!” the leader of physicians said. “For since we came, ‘tis known that we have never slept. Because our special skill is needed here, we’ve had to leave our loving families. Our wives have made us cuckolds, while our children know not who we are. Of all the lots in life, ours surely is the worst!”
All stories being told, the man who dared to think decided then to take solutions and ideas before the King, but even when he went into the royal court, no king sat on the throne. The thinking man next called in princely speech to King who answered from a hidden place.
“How may I speak with you, O royal Majesty? I know not where you are!” said thinking man to King.
“I’m right before you here!” said unseen magistrate. “I am a king who hides behind the throne. Why have you come to speak with me?”
“To give solution for the problems in society,” said thinking man.
“And have you one for me?” said hidden King. “For mine is sure a place of imbecility, for only I, a fool, have wanted to be King—to have a sword by thread forever hanging dang’rously above my head! To share my bread and even marriage bed with enemies! To hide behind the throne to save my face, for when I’ve made some dreadful error causing some disaster monstrous in proportion in the scope of man’s society, the blame is placed upon the throne, and I, in hiding place, am thus absolved from any guilt or wrong, but foolish King I am, to live a shameful life of hiding here behind this throne. You are a man who dares to think I’ve heard in secret whispering about my court, so tell me what solution you have found for this so banal king!”
Well now, the thinking man remembered that within this very, very modern world a king or judge possessed no special wisdom as did kings in times before, for kings within this very, very modern world were kings elected by the ignorant and meant to do the will of wealthy men. No power rested in the throne but was by wealthy men usurped and cleverly disguised by politicians working for these wealthy few.
So finally, though after spying into all the matters of the royal court and in the world itself, the man who dared to think called all the men in man’s society together that he might at last propound upon and give but one solution for the many ills in such society.
The men who picked the poison fruit stood ‘round, as did the men who carried giant barges on their backs, and listening with careful ears were men who learned in school to burn the poison fruit. The hundred thousand thousand who had eaten poison fruit and suffered listened there and stood beside physicians who had never slept. The hidden King gave ear behind the golden throne awaiting some solution grand.
The politicians working for the wealthy few who grew the poison fruit were nervous then, for in society a man who dared to think was sure a dang’rous thing and could not be allowed to freely speak or lead the ign’rant crowds. The few who grew the poison fruit were called at once and they together with the politicians quick conspired to confuse the thinking man’s solutions offered to society.
So as the man who dared to think stood up before the court, society of man was quiet then, for deep within their hearts the world that gathered hoped to hear some marvelous solution given in some lengthy speech with flourishes of phrase and adjectives profound, and yet to their dismay, the man who dared to think did speak a simple line and he was done. To man’s society he said,
CHOP DOWN AT ONCE
THE TREES THAT BEAR THE POISON FRUIT!
And that was all that he did speak.
Well now, at first there was a lengthy pause and then a sigh and finally the crowds were marv’ling with imagination and with joy, for with a simple phrase, the man who dared to think did give solution solving every evil in society.
“We’ll suffer picking poison fruit no more! Our seeming chains are gone!” said men whose blistered hands had plucked the poison fruit from trees.
A man with broken back proclaimed,
“Our children will not carry giant barges full of poison fruit! We’ll send them off to school!”
“Instead of burning poison fruit,” said those with blackened skin, “we’ll burn our sacrifices to our God!”
Then all those sick from stealing and from eating poison fruit called out with one loud voice,
“We’ll not eat poison as we did before! We’ll fill our souls with honour and imagination!”
Physicians who were standing there went to their families and closed their eyes to sleep, and finally at last, the hidden King appeared from gathered veil and sat upon the throne.
In spite of all the machinations of the politicians working for the wealthy growers of the fruit, the problems of society were solved. All seemed to be in order, yet the politicians were determined to undo this peace, for politicians thrived on evil in society, and thus, preserving evil meant preserving politics.
And so conjunct with wealthy men who raped and plundered man’s society, the same who owned the land and grew the trees that bore the poison fruit, these politicians then devised a way to turn society against the man who brought the peace, the very same who dared to think.
It was agreed the youth, who were ideal and never knew the evils in society, should bring about destruction of this man. So after waiting for these youth to reach a proper age, the politicians did seek selfishness within the sons of men. As seeming friends of peace, these politicians went into society and to the sons of men they said,
“Why have you idle hands and empty minds? Why have mere peasants more to eat and to enjoy than you? ‘Twas written long ago: For he who does not work, then neither let him eat! This peace your fathers have is truly good, but it has made you even poor! They had the opportunity to earn their wealth, but you are destined to great want.
“ Was for your fathers plucking, barging, burning, eating, healing those who stole and ate the fruit so bad? When they received good wages for their honest work? When they could buy imported silk and brass and wine from worlds away? What have you their sons but peace that can’t be worn or drank or used to satisfy your flesh?
“Remember if you will, recall the stories that your fathers told, and you shall mark that men were better off before, when men knew where they fit into society, when men found purpose in their lives. If you want more from life, you must not listen to your fathers who have been misled, and by a man who dares to think, deceived.
“ Take for yourselves the luxuries that they have cast away! What riches you will make! What fleshly pleasures you will surely have! You’ll bolster this depressed economy and help society besides, for never has there been a greater harvest yielded to this date. We secretly have planted other trees with poison fruit to stand for those chopped down according to the misconstruction of the man who dares to think.
“ The world is ripe with poison fruit! Come pluck and barge and burn and steal and suffer to be healed by men who never sleep! Why stand you there? The world awaits!”
Still standing there, the sons of men to politicians said,
“We surely wish to pluck and barge and burn and heal the foolish ones who wish to steal and eat the poison fruit, but still there is a man alive who dares to think. As long as there is room for thought in our society, there is no place for industry. The man who thinks must be destroyed. As you are politicians skilled at making good seem bad and bad seem virtuous, then you must tell us how to go about destroying such a dang’rous man, this man who dares to think!”
The politicians had anticipated such a question from the youth, and so what followed were the careful words the smiling politicians had rehearsed in many years before:
“Go to the King, who with the help of thinking man has learned to sit upon the throne, and you must say to him, ‘Why are you sitting on that throne when you are hated by society and in the world despised by multitudes? You’ll save your head by hiding once again behind the throne.’ ”
That being said, the politicians further offered this:
“For know you sons of men, the King who’s learned to love his place upon the throne will surely seek to draw from you what policy will find him favour in your eyes and in the ign’rant minds of your society. Then you must tell him and he will at once destroy the thinking man.”
Well now, these sons of men, they did exactly as the politicians had instructed and prescribed, and when the nervous King upon the throne implored to know what he should do, the youth demanded then the hated head belonging to the man who dared to think.
“What crime should he be executed for?” said frightened King. “Who of you sons of men can tell me how such murder would be justified?”
Well then, within the sons of men were politicians so disguised in order to reply to such a question from the careful King.
“The crime for which he should be killed is THOUGHT! A man who dares to think will ruin sons of men and politics and enterprise and even yet a King who presently is brave enough to sit upon an unsubstantial throne, for thinking truly is the greatest evil in society. The King himself must kill the man who dares to think!”
The hidden politicians next aroused the sons of men to call the King to kill this thinking man so that ten thousand thousand voices spoke a single phrase:
THE KING HIMSELF MUST KILL
THE MAN WHO DARES TO THINK
And as the crowds grew more aroused, the frightened King, he quickly found his hiding place behind the throne again and called his counsellors to hear what he should do, for in society, a counsellor was capable of minor thought acceptable to man and could predict and play upon the ign’rance of the multitude.
“You must not kill the man who dares to think,” said counsellors to King, “and yet he must be surely killed. The sons of man demand his life, so give him over to society, that once again ‘tis proven true that those who dare to think should wisely inactivity pursue and never should they fix it in their hearts and minds to change the course of man, for man will surely change, yet he will always be the same.”
Well then, the apprehensive King considered carefully their words and he, with great regret and slowly wagging head, pronounced this speech:
“Bring out the man who dares to think, and as I close mine eyes, so let society do to the thinking man all that society must do. I’m but a king within a very, very modern, wicked world.”
Then after saying this, the King into his ownself bosom drew a knife, and after cutting deep into his flesh, he plucked his poisoned heart from there, and with a final breath, he gasped aloud these words,
“The irony of thinking men and kings makes surely tragic art:
That e’er a thinking man was born with tongue or king was born with heart!”
No one could see the hidden king as dead he fell behind the throne. Well now, society closed in around the guiltless man who dared to think, and yet before he fell into the hands of sons of men, he thought of Wisdom then, that in society a man who dares to think should hold his tongue and should no seeming useful action take, for sons of men despise imagination in a living man yet praise it greatly when he’s gone.
“How long will man continue to indulge in works so vain? Go to your fathers, please, you sons of men, and see how I have worked to bring the best to man’s society! Yet realize this truth: Imagination comes from God! Go even to your holy men, for surely holy men must take a place before you to commend my works!”
“His works are from the Wicked One!” said politicians once again disguised this time within the forms of holy men.
“Imagination has no place in man’s society nor in established practice of religious men. Man was not meant to think, but meant to listen and obey. Yet man was meant to sin that holy men might arbitrate and judge man for that sin. If man did ever think to go or pray directly to his God, there’d be no need for holy men. Because this man has sought to do away with holy men, his works are from the Wicked One and thus this man deserves to die!”
Because these politicians in the forms of holy men believed he was a dang’rous man, they left him to the sons of men, the ign’rant multitude of minds that could not think, who after beating him, they tortured him and nailed him to an ancient, twisted tree among the pods of poison fruit. To those who ever followed him, he with compassion spoke these words to give them hope:
“I die today, and yet tomorrow if you follow after me, I’ll take your case before the greatest king in all the universe, who rules and judges with compassion and with love, and has no fear of man and man’s society!”
Upon that tree this man who dared to think expired, calling for his father and his friend, who was in truth not far away. Then after many hours hanging there in death, the weeping, mourning, white-haired Wisdom came along and plucked him from among the pods of poison fruit and hid Imagination in the bosom of the Earth away from undeserving man, and ever after Wisdom hid himself away from sons of men so that the world remains a place of great stupidity.
For ever since that day, a man who dares to think will wisely hold his tongue and live, for those who’ve dared to think have learned by this to hold themselves away from dang’rous man.
Well now, the matter being settled then, the white-haired Wisdom made memorial for the man who dared to think, who seemed most like his son, and in the mind of every man within the world who’s brave enough to think, he carved a simple phrase of thought which argued much like this:
To better man is vain, as time has shown—
‘Tis learned that man is better left alone!