Monday, January 12, 2009

Entry #66

Enlightened
by J.C. Montgomery


Men have become the tools of their tools. Thoreau said that.

Rising slowly, feeling the groan of the metal beneath my feet, I think of man’s ascent from a lowly creature to an enlightened being. They say that man’s ability to make and use tools separates us from other species. But this is a lie. Tools don’t make us better, just lazy, and unable to think for ourselves.

Take this moving metal staircase. This was created to help us climb with little or no exertion. Taking the stairs would get you there just the same. But why make the effort if offered the luxury of having something do it for you.

Standing at the railing, I watch the masses ascend, moving like a herd of sheep, looking as if it is by their own volition, but in truth, they are being led by a need to keep moving - and climbing, seeking to reach a higher status than the others.

Men have become the tools of their tools: the implements by which others use us as a means of accomplishing something they want done, but won’t or can’t do themselves.

Pulling out the leaflets from my bag, I head back to the escalators and begin handing them out, hoping to find that one “sheep” more easily led than the rest, helping them find something they can’t find themselves, being that escalator that takes them to another level with little effort and an even smaller amount of thought.

18 comments:

laughingwolf said...

well said, jc... ponderful :)

JR's Thumbprints said...

Your title is right on, but I must confess, I wanted your narrator to be Amish.

Rebecca Livesey said...

i do love this view of an escalator, never seen it as so mindless before & it's so true!

McKoala said...

Another good ending.

harshad said...

nice portrayal of thoughts...the closing lines were great.

BernardL said...

Entertaining take on the theme.

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Loved the philosophy ingrained in it!

Good one :)

Sarah Hina said...

I liked your bodhisattva, J.C. His own enlightenment is not enough.

Nice meditation on modernity and mindfulness. Being too comfortable is sometimes a trap. Good writing, and strong interpretation!

one more believer said...

ahh, the aimlessness of one more manifested tool....

JaneyV said...

And we become prisoners of the things we wrought to set us free. I think you've captured the dilemma of progress impeding our evolution beautifully.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

thought provoking messages here...well written

J.C. Montgomery said...

Wasn't sure this would be too philosophical; not enough 'story', so I am pleased you've all liked it. Thank you!

Selma said...

I liked the social comment here. There is such conformity in modern life that we are in danger of just being defined by our labour saving devices. I really liked this one!!

peter said...

Strong and original, a very good take on the comp!

Catvibe said...

While reading this, I started to feel I was reading a philosophical dissertation, an an interesting one as well. However, I was glad you brought us back in the final part, with him looking for company to ascend to his vision of the world. Tools are a blessing and a curse. If it weren't for computers we wouldn't be having this conversation now would we? Great writing, different take, I liked it.

ceedy said...

Interesting philosophical take. We are trapped into our own makings.

Dont you also think that once the sheep undertands what is being said - he will become comfortable and start looking for other options....

September said...

Men have become the tools of their tools....

nice take - interesting, and liked the way you associated the mass as sheep

good work

jason evans said...

Great job with pacing, technical skill, and voice! And welcome to the Forties Club!!

Thanks for being a wonderful part of the contest.