They will be coming for me soon. My friends have already been taken. Some have died. Others have told what they know. I know what they know and now my anonymity is over. It will be soon they will come for me and I can not escape that certainty.
When they come for me they will ask “who else knows? Who have you told?” I know the answer, but will I speak it? I am weak, I will not stand up to the harsh interrogation. Eventually I will say what I know.
If I were to betray them, is it necessary that I undergo the torture first? Is there honor in resisting if the result will be the same? Must I make an effort to preserve fidelity, even if in vain?
Waking, I wonder why I have this dream. Is it because of the lands I have travelled? In the not so distant past people here have resisted. They resisted the torture, the disappearances, the deaths. They stood against the tyranny, the oppression, the minor and major betrayals. Are my dreams questions? Am I asking how I would fare in such situations?
Am I responding to something more immediate. I have become increasing concerned, of late, about the continual reports of the Mob. The Mob has come for many demanding reprisal for the major and minor heresies against the modern orthodoxy. Those who are exposed as sinners repent, but there is no forgiveness. You must deny your past, and by denying you gain nothing but greater levels of contempt. You must repent, but you cannot atone. You must betray your own life. That is the cost of your transgression.
Betrayal is the greater transgression. Dante assigns the final round of the ninth circle of hell for those who betray. The lowest level of hell is named for the one who betrayed he whom he loved with a kiss. JBP asserts that betrayal is the most heinous sin because it not only steals from others their future, but also robs them of their past.
Nearly all of the commandments relate to betrayal, though they are not phrased in that way. They speak of honor. You are commanded to honor others in specific ways. You are commanded to honor God, and to honor your father and mother. It can be simplified: honor your heritage, your parentage, your community, your culture, that provides you an identity and a place of belonging. You may not like it, but it is yours. Others may not like it, and so what?
What does it mean to honor? Can one honor and also transcend? Yes, my past and the past of my ancestors leads me this moment in time. The history of my personage is my reality and leaves me at the threshold of the future. Will you deny me my future because you disagree with my past? Do you demand that I betray the foundation of who I am?
When the Mob comes for your past, they ransom your destiny. If betrayal of others earns us a place in lowest level of hell what is our lot when we betray ourselves?
This post may have ended farther from the initial question than I intended, but maybe not. Why am I obsessed with questions of betrayal? I fear it is because our society is beginning to demand it.
Got your back…