In the classic fairy tale “The Ugly Duckling”, by some trick of fate an infant swan finds itself brought up among a family of ducks. Over time, the swan begins to perceive itself as different from its siblings – somehow uglier. One day, a flock of swans alights on the small pond where they live and recognizes the ugly duckling for the swan it truly is. Our hero heeds their call, joins the swans, and lives happily ever after among his own kind.
Unfortunately in life, very rarely is the swan lucky enough to be discovered by a community of kindred spirits. The journey to self-awareness is often long and arduous with prolonged spells of loneliness and despair along the way. When this higher awareness does finally come, there is no fanfare to greet its arrival; no group of kindred spirits waiting to embrace the swan. Instead, there is the loneliness of having sight in the valley of the blind – truly a desolate experience.
When a condition exists for a sufficient amount of time, even one as patently false and contrary to our basic natures as that created by the Game, it becomes accepted as the norm. On a certain level, we continue to know it is unfair, but for the sake of our sanity we choose not to credit that knowledge as the truth which it represents. Often, it is only when someone from the outside enters our world and we see the situation through their foreign eyes that we come to realize that our reality is a sham. It is then, and only then, that the ember smouldering inside us is fanned into a flame.
Upon waking up from a trance-state such as this, what do find? We live in a world of narcissists, who preach the gospel while shamelessly pursuing their own narrow self-interests to the exclusion of all else. The tribe to which each of us belongs is just as narrow-minded and self-serving as any of the others out there. Our entire mindset, our way of thinking, our way of perceiving the world, are all terribly skewed. We can no longer be the people we were, and continue to play the roles we have played until now. Once robbed of the blissful ignorance in which we were previously cocooned, our pantomime cannot persist.