Sunday, September 10, 2006


The subject of control enters my mind often. Control is an illusion that deceives many, for at certain times a person can truly feel in control and actually be in control to a limited extent. Times in life exist where everyone does another's bidding and everything goes that person's way, a person has control. Or does he? Can that one make things go his way or is it the hand that he is dealt. In no way am I minimizing the need for gracious behaviour and seizing the things that are in a person's reach (and we can extend the reach somewhat), but in the end humans are limited. There is a ceiling.

In addition to the temporal nature of control, control, which is the ultimate exertion of power, often has many inconsistencies. In the Constant Gardiner a central character states "I was the control freak who couldn't control himself". He couldn't control his lust nor could he figure out what caused it or where it came from. He was disjointed.

Rather than control, I favour the word influence. Complete control over another person is not natural and is more akin to slavery than anything else. In contrast, there are many ways that a person can influence another without tampering with their self-determination, i.e. when a person does not bend another's will through withholding food, clothing, visas, and passports. Does it violate your existence? If yes, it's control. Influence can be feeding another with ideas and ideals, but brainwashing is the unacceptable limit of this influence. Influence arises from the authority structure present in most, if not all, cultures. Lastly, someone always remains above another; world-records are usually broken, so there is a levelling effect present in influence. I was reminded of these facts when I read the following:

It towered so vast above petty human creation, so elemental in a man-made world, that even if all the men who had lived in all the past millennia had opened up their arms as wide as they could and carried everything they had ever created or intended to create and piled it all up in massive heaps, they could never have raised a mountain ridge as fantastic as the Caucasus. Alexander Solzhenitsyn. August 1914. Trans. Glenny

Fly on! Enjoy the feeling! Breathe it! But remember that you can always fall to the ground because your being is governed by many laws.

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