fears and freedom

by Andrea Elizabeth

“To manipulate the fears of others, you must first learn to master your own.” (Batman Begins)

Not that it is good to manipulate the fears of others, but mastering one’s own first reminds me of eyelog removal.

“Home, where I learned the truth about despair, as will you. There’s a reason why this prison is the worst hell on earth… Hope. Every man who has ventured here over the centuries has looked up to the light and imagined climbing to freedom. So easy… So simple… And like shipwrecked men turning to sea water from uncontrollable thirst, many have died trying. I learned here that there can be no true despair without hope. So, as I terrorize Gotham, I will feed its people hope to poison their souls. I will let them believe they can survive so that you can watch them clamoring over each other to “stay in the sun.”” (Dark Knight Rises)

This assumes that sunlight isn’t the goal, but freedom. And that freedom is out there, not within. Sunlight can symbolize the presence of God, and like Dostoyevsky says, freedom is not all it’s cracked up to be. The monk is told that everything he needs for salvation is in his cell, and not to seek to leave it. Perhaps even a prison cell can be a good place to learn how to be free, which is learning to control oneself.

“Keep your mind in hell and despair not.” – St. Silouan