Notes from Walter Wink’s award winning 1993 book ‘Engaging the Powers – Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination‘.
(Pg. 98-100). “The Czech platwright (and later president) Vaclav Havel wrote, while the communist regime was still in power:
“Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything. It falsifies the past. It falsifies the present, and it falsifies the future. It falsifies statistics. It pretends not to possess an omnipotent and unprincipled police apparatus. It pretends to respect human rights. It pretends to persecute no one. It pretends to fear nothing. It pretends to pretend nothing.
Individuals need not believe all these mystifications, but they must behave as though they did, or they must at least tolerate them in silence, or get along well with those who work with them. For this reason, however, they must live within a lie (original emphasis). They need not accept the lie. It is enough for them to have accepted their life with it and in it. For by this very fact, individuals confirm the system, fulfil the system, make the system, are the system.”
When anyone steps out of the system and tells the truth, lives the truth, that person enables everyone else to peer behind the curtain too. That person has shown that it is possible to live within the truth, despite the repercussions. “Living within the lie can constitute the system only if it is universal.” Anyone who steps out of line therefore “denies it in principle and threatens it in its entirety. . . . (original emphasis) If the main pillar of the system is living a lie, then it is not surprising that the fundamental threat to it is living the truth.” That is why it must be suppressed more severely than anything else.
“For the crust presented by the life of lies is made of strange stuff. As long as it seals off hermetically the entire society, it appears to be made of stone. But the moment someone breaks through in one place – a Solzhenitsyn – when a single person cries out, “The emperor is naked” – when a single person breaks the rules of the game, thus exposing it as a game [delusio!] – then the whole crust is exposed as a tissue on the point of tearing and disintergrating uncontrollably.”Vaclav Havel
The delusory web spun around us can be broken. Everyone is capable of liberation. Most people are not deliberately unjust. Even our current enemies are in some sense victims. Jesus can command us to pray for our enemies, not because it is pious to do so, but because they are potentially capable of recognizing the wrongness of the present system. We must love our enemies because they too have been deceived by the Dragon’s delusional game.
Often, even the liberator is locked into oppressive conditioning and behaviour. The Book of Revelation is a case in point. Never has a more withering political and economic criticism of empire been penned (my emphasis). The author sees with clairvoyant exactitude the bestiality of Rome, and behind it to the satanic spirit undergirding it…. Concern for justice is never enough; each social struggle must be seen in its relationship to the larger perspective of the inbreaking of God’s domination-free order.
The Dragon’s Strategy is to eviscerate opposition by a sense of induced powerlessness. To accept its delusional assumptions is, in effect, to worship the Dragon, to hold its values as ultimate, to stake one’s life on the permanence of its sway.
“The whole earth followed the [First] Beast, spellbound. They worshipped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the Beast, and who can fight against it?” (shrug).
“I just carried out my orders. If I hadn’t done so, someone else would have” (shrug).
“I don’t enjoy the violence depicted in my company’s films, but this is what the public wants” (shrug)
“I didn’t want to get on drugs, but I was afraid the other kids would say I was square” (shrug)
As R. D. Laing put it,
“Each person claims his own inessentiality. . . . In this collection of reciprocal indifference, of reciprocal inessentiality and solitude, there appears to exist no freedom. There is conformity to a presence that is everywhere elsewhere. . . . Mind and body are torn; ripped, shredded, ravaged, exhausted by these Powers and Principalities in their cosmic conflict.” . . . . .
Satan “tempts” us, not just with moral indiscretions, but with obedience to oppressive values that the society itself decalres to be holy and right. Satan provides mind surveillance for the internalized system, and tattles to God, who is actually betting on people’s capacity to be authentic (Job 1-2).
One Chilean church leader said, “people are rarely imprisoned for their ideas . . . because we’re already imprisoned by our ideas” [original emphasis]. A government does not have this power; people must voluntarily surrender this power to the state.
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