The analogy is perfect.
When talking of anchors. Or as I define anchors.
There is the anchor we all think of.
Big, heavy, solid. Ties down your floating vessel so you can plant yourself out in the middle of the indifferent ocean and proceed with your Earthly tasks.
Most people are reassured by the presence of an anchor. Without it they are at the mercy of the large and powerful oceanic forces. There is nothing more frightening than to have no control over one’s direction.
And the other anchors I speak of are the type we lug around on land. Because, once again, we fear aimlessness. So we clutter our lives with anchors of varying degrees and sizes.
We buy and store and build…anchors. Earthly anchors.
Why? On a boat in the middle of the ocean, we need the brute and tangible weight of a heavy mass in order to keep us from wandering astray. And I believe the very essence of modern man is self-containment and artificial insulation against the wild beast that beckons from deep in his soul.
On the most elemental level, I believe earthly anchors are those items we’ve contrived in order to escape our wild nature. We fear the beast that lurks in our hearts. Thus we created the most ancient earthly anchor of them all: religion. Religion serves to tie us down and sublimate our natures. Our existence on this planet is a turbulent ocean which can drag our souls and bodies into the blinding darkness of the ocean’s depths. Our own nature we’ve learned to fear and distrust…and which we seek to contain and imprison. Religion served that purpose for a good portion of our historical past.
With the advent of technology and the spoils of the modern age, it became more difficult to control man. Thus a new set of anchors came into play…and have gradually multiplied, both in number and sophistication.
And most of of all, we continue hungrily to seek the means to procure those anchors!
And we attempt to bestow upon our children this unbridled lust as well. The means are money. And our lives are built around getting more and more of it. Why? So we can buy bigger and better anchors. And we want that for our children also, we want their anchors to be bigger and better than ours were. So we send them to school and 20 years of college so that they may one day be consumed with the same voracious ambition and drive which plagues us.
And here we are.
We blindly rush like lemmings toward the call of the modern anchor. We buy houses and cars and televisions and computers and clothes and we differentiate ourselves from others by the exclusivity of our anchors and we display them proudly so that others can marvel. Marvel at our anchors and degree of “unfreedom.”
For that is what anchors buy us: imprisonment.
The only option is to shed as many anchors as possible; as many as we can comfortably do without in our daily lives. Only then will we ever know freedom. And whether you like it or not, your nature is a wanderer. Your nature seeks release from walls, from clocks, from possessions, from shackles…your nature is wild. Live it.
edited December 6, 2009