Scapegoat

’tis better to carry the sins of men than to live by the rules of their lords. ’tis better to pick the dry, bitter flowerets of the desert than to feast on the dead foods of mankind. ’tis better to die an unfettered spirit than to linger an entombed soul.
Your cousin Aries was placed first in the stars, you only reaped Jehovah’s spite. Yet, an earthy god took you in his embrace, and the pastures of Arcadia are your reward at last, with wine, laughter, and the rondes of the shepherd boys.

From A Book to Free the Soul ©
a picture, image, painting by caravaggio  of a pagan scene of a naked, nude boy with a ram
Caravaggio, Youth with a ram (John the Baptist)

Desire

It is said that desire is a product of the will, but the converse is in fact true: will is a product of desire.

Denis Diderot

Desire makes everything blossom; possession makes everything wither and fade. 

Marcel Proust

Desire is the fountainhead of two streams, one flowing through the evocative, the other through the flesh. Desire fuels dreams, enflames our passions, and feeds the creative thrust, forging experience into the memories that shape the soul. Whereas Desire thrives on harmony, greed is the insatiable acquisitiveness that leads to mayhem and destruction.

From A Book to Free the Soul ©
mythology picture, image, print of the gods/goddesses Ceres, Bacchus, Venus and Eros
Hendrick Goltzius, Without Ceres and Bacchus Venus would Freeze, Ink and oil on canvas, ca 1600

Le Bateleur I (The Magician) – Tarot series; major arcana

You are called Magician, master of the unseen
But the Fool sees through the illusions of your game
In truth, you were always a deceiver at heart—
A mountebank, a performer; c’est dans les cartes!
You delude and cheat the gullible without shame
Concealing your dupery behind a smokescreen.

From A Book to Free the Soul ©
Engraving by J. Brown after W.M. Craig, 1813

The Perpetual Optimists

The perpetual optimists for their part question nothing, being under the ruling imperative to curate happy faces and dispel any suspicious little cloud. Meanwhile, the leaders of the hive cultivate a methodical “shock-and-awe” strategy of merriment with mass entertainments, sweet demagogy, rampant consumerism, the promulgation of positive thinking, or the propagation of prosperity theology. The aim is to preserve the status quo combined with a state of blissful hope. We are not suffering from an epidemic of pessimism; we are infected with a recurrent virus of unhinged enthusiasm and confidence. Why else would we persist in trusting the same ideas and powers that historically failed us?
All forms of optimism unchecked by a lucid sense of logic have a potential for tragic results. Smiley is the noonday sun that promises the light and delivers scorching heat. Our makeshift wings keep us afloat on the winds of elation, but as we near the zenith, the wax that holds the feathers is melting, and we are bound to be precipitated into the sea of uncertainty whence we came

From A Book to Free the Soul ©
an image, picture, painting of Icarus the youthful tragic hero of Greek mythology
Galileo Chini, Icarus, 1907