The Rogue Scholar

By Jbschirtzinger | clarion | 5 Jan 2024

Chapter 15 Part 4

Uzine, despite everything he had seen Hiro do, was torn where this decision was involved. His life as he knew it was essentially over. What Hiro was asking him to do was to widen his perspective beyond himself and to consider others. His life would have purpose in the sense that his actions would shape what would happen to those who came after him. Emotionally, however, Uzine was exhausted. All of his personal desires had proven to be illusions--no, they were worse than illusions. An illusion would allow a person to at least choose it. In Uzine's case, the illusions had been foisted upon him--woven into the web of his life from the moment he had set foot on the planet. What Uzine had been was a slave---a slave of the worst sort.--the kind that does not know he is one. Now he had to choose whether he wanted to allow his life as a slave to define him, or to make his life purpose the chimeras that followed him.

After carefully turning over the question in his mind, Uzine spoke.

"Hiro, as you know, my life has been one of slavery. I do not wish to enter into anything else that seeks to place a chain around my neck. If I do what you suggest, how am I not yet again a slave?"

Hiro who had so far been fairly jovial became stern-faced. Uzine almost wished he had not asked the question.

"The difference between a slave and freedom, Uzine, is that a slave has no choice in the predicament in which he finds himself. You here have a choice--to do as you intended to do before I came, or to do what I am suggesting. If you look within yourself, you will see that part of you always wanted to serve others, just not in servitude as you have been. Your instinct was not wrong, but the world in which you inhabit has twisted it to make you believe it is a weakness when it is in fact a strength. Frequently, it has come to pass that those who wish to serve others in their highest good are often overcome by their inferiors who wish to use these people for their own selfish gain. The problem in such situations lies on both sides--for the selfish people it is their intentions which need to be challenged. For those wishing to render service, the problem comes from not remembering who or what they ultimately need to be serving. It is no one's purpose to live a life in abject slavery, but yet the world often does just that to those who come to it. What matters now is your intention, your choice. Will you allow the world and its false values to define you? Therein lies the question you must ask."

Uzine paused. All of his experience of the world seemed to suggest he was a slave. Yet, if he had twitched and no one else had, then what Hiro was suggesting was that he was something other than a slave. Perhaps the background with which his life had functioned had cast him in the role of slave, but that was more the fault of the world and less the fault of Uzine. It certainly was not his identity. If slave was not his identity, then paradoxically what was false was Uzine's assumption he ever was one. What was  more, none of the other chimeras were slaves either, nor should they be. Where a society had work it wanted done but did not itself want to do, that society often appropriated slaves. It was only a job half-done if a society took slaves. The job was completely done when a slave no longer felt like they were anyone BUT a slave.

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