The Apparatus contains routes that lead us to the center where subjects are more easily controlled, measured, taxed, indoctrinated. Roads, chutes, aisles, orange pylons, advertisements, produce placement, fences, queue stanchions, traffic cops, rules of the game, supply chains, clocks, schedules, elevators, escalators, train tracks, flight patterns. In the Apparatus, you must go where they route you. You must stay in your lane, follow the signs. You will be routed to a single destination. It may have different names – the factory, the office, the mall, the arena, the altar, heaven, success, the American dream – but it’s all one destination. For most of human existence, we traveled and sauntered on paths and in sacred, sustainable hoops. These ancient paths and seasonal, cyclical hoops were profoundly alive. They were earth-based movements that moved with nature, freely and profoundly. Learn to distinguish between routes and paths.
The mind has been routed into a binary world view of dualism. Good and bad, Democrat and Republican, Rich and poor, educated and uneducated, blue collar and white collar, Jew and Gentile, Man and woman, matter and spirit. Nature is endlessly multiplicitous while at once a unity, which the binary mind cannot fathom. So the binary mind routes away from the natural, the real, into an artificial world of either/or, win/lose.
Routes lead to and from death, not a natural death, a living death – Perlman’s peeping cadavers. Interstates that carry diseased livestock from CAFOs to the kitchen table in some white-washed suburban home to manifest as cancer, M.S., and heart disease. Sugar plantations routing crystal death to the candy store to your diabetic mother. Barges delivering coal up the river route from flattened mountaintops to electric plants that power cities inhabited by lifeless concrete and dazed cadavers. Roads leading us from isolated, lifeless homes to workplaces of drudgery, stress and boredom and eventually to stress-induced cardiac arrest. The routes of the Apparatus lead from sedentary to sedentary. There is no movement in routes, only changes in location.
Routes follow the quickest way, which is always straight and flat as possible. Routes are measured, broken into small increments, lifeless and unremarkable units. The same stretch of suburban corridor in Nebraska looks about the same as the same suburban corridor in Arizona or Maine. Paths are slow, profound, experienced. Full of scents and tastes and tactile ecstasy. Paths integrate and interact with the world they inhabit. Paths inhabit.
Religious routes follow the quickest way to a disembodied heaven where the paths are all made straight. Morality is measured in bits and pieces of legalistic dogma. The ten commandments, followed by thousands of pages of the Federal Register. Jesus reduced them to two. He was moving in the right direction. Just two more to go.
Routes have surroundings and views (increasingly ugly ones). Routes have shoulders and chain fences to keep us from integrating with the real. Guard rails serves as buffers from the real. The route that is kept clear of nature is the most efficient, the most lucrative. Routes cannot be inconvenienced or slowed by interaction with the natural, the real.
Routes efficiently deliver nothing of worth. Fast cars, fast food, high-speed internet. A B.S. degree in 18-months! B.S. for sure. Amazon will deliver alienation and anxiety to your door in two days with Prime. Everyone is in a damn hurry, en route, and everyone is in someone else’s way. Get in the right lane, you bastard, can’t you see I’m in a hurry? The stranger is shown hostility instead of hospitality when we are en route rather than on a path. No mountain, sacred burial ground, wilderness, prairie or river will block a route. The route will steam roll over it or under it, but rarely around it, because routes do not tolerate inefficiencies and delays. The greatest tragedy in the Apparatus, where life is a journey to acquisition of stuff, is disruption of the supply chain, slow internet service, and rerouting.
The destination of routes is mass isolation. Mega churches, arenas, stadiums, rallies, overcrowded prisons, packed classrooms, sprawling industrial “parks,” distribution centers. Do you notice the degree of cognitive dissonance the Apparatus must maintain in order to perpetuate its depressing mythology? Mass isolation. Industrial parks. Distribution centers. Online communities. How sad. Truly sad is the mind and heart that are routed and absorbed by the narrative of the Apparatus. Now we have internet routers facilitating lonely lanes ever deeper into the abyss of cyberspace. Routes are now only a click away.
The routed masses are always going “somewhere,” or at least always feel an uneasiness that they should be somewhere else. “Life is a Journey.” More B.S.! Life is where your stand, barefoot, on a dusty path at this moment, and the next, and the next. “Someday I’m going to arrive.” Where? In some artificial bubble of a home, in a suburban wasteland with WiFi to route you to a place outside where you are?
Our politics is governed by routes. The Road to the Whitehouse. Either side of the aisle. Politics routes power and resources from the scattered peripheries to the corrupt center. L’Enfant’s main corridors route everyone to D.C’s center.
Ask the white-tailed deer, grey squirrels and possums. The railroad tracks, interstates and highways bring only death. Stick to the paths. Do not be tempted to the routes.
Paths are not easy to find these days. They are often buried beneath asphalt, erased by the bulldozer’s blade. But they can still be found. Look for the paths that lead to smallness, slowness, humility and gentleness. Mom and pop stores. Holes in the wall. Cafes off the main route. A graveyard outside a small country church. Look for the deer path in crumpled tall grass leading down to the creek. You’ll have to pull over, get out of your car. You’ll have to walk, but not too fast or you’ll miss the ripe blackberries just behind the grove of beech trees over the next hill.