It is difficult to manipulate without guilt ahead, or without the promise of another prize in front. As always, it’s easy to say, since the hard part is realizing it, catching it. It is like cheating on someone, or the madness, the one affected is the last to know and, best of all, it is that each one has his own way of reacting when it captures that part of reality that it did not know completely, or that he or she refused to accept until it reached that point where the destruction becomes so great that there is no other way than to review the errors in the libretto.
I’ve been on both sides before. I manipulated without scruples – the one who manipulates never has them – when I looked for a result, and I allowed myself to be manipulated – not consciously – also to obtain a result, as well as to avoid another. Until suddenly I saw it, and it was like waking up from a drunkenness and assuming the corresponding hangover, with a mixture of repentance for nothingand yet it invites us to be present, inevitably, to humility; with such intense discomfort that it becomes necessary to “bah, to hell, it’s no big deal”, while the healer Cronus passes by.
Those were other times, I was very small and it was a priority if not always win, at least never lose. I don’t justify myself, I only explain myself, and mastering as nobody else the disgust towards the explanations of the behaviour, something that is still of interest to so many learned and so many imbeciles. Now I don’t care anymore. Now, when I see an attempted manipulation I smile inside and let the plot continue, as if I didn’t know. Now the difficult thing is not to answer, to contain the reactivity, to perceive the pressure of degree 10, to have the ability to respond with degree 101 and yet to refrain from doing so.
In this way, the game, which never ceased to be cruel, and perhaps because of this it is still intense, has become much cleaner and more solitary. There are few participants left and the speech is reduced. The scholar as the innocent, locked up in an immaculate selfishness of all self-centeredness, battles a self-absorption of one another without lifting their eyelids. The philosopher and the theologian smile as deep cuts are made in the cheekbones. And the boy and the girl look at each other sideways, pondering for a long time the tremendous distance that separates them and makes them one.
Detached —though not unlearned— from the art of manipulation, one steps more firmly and more alone. Appreciates everyone even though he or she loves fewer people. It takes less, too, and gives much more, because it understands that this is the natural flow here, even though this “nature” it carries may feel it, through the influence of affection, as unjust. Even if the end of the road is the same, the path is higher when the one who stops manipulating than the one who never did; and the one who manipulates, without being able to advance, only turns around himself, without imagining the power of an egomaniac capable of smiling.
|The guilt - 1|
|The guilt - 2|