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"Today, in this court of law, you are accused of disseminating ideas that are destructive to the political, cultural, and spiritual structures of this country. Furthermore, the international community considers you to be an outlaw and an instigator of revolt, civil unrest, and blasphemous thought. The entire world is watching these legal proceedings closely, and many sovereign nations have already declared their intentions to achieve retribution using a wide range of tactics, including the penalty of death. In summary, at national and international levels, it is clear that the ideas found in your writings have created a seemingly unquenchable thirst for justice, both rational and institutional as well as irrational and violent. In the face of not only the formal charges brought against you in this court, but also the growing sense of indignation around the globe, how do you plead?"

Mike realized that his answer would set the tone for the rest of the trial not only in a legal sense but also in terms of how people would think of him. Usually a defendant was given a limited range of replies and forced to choose one which would be the foundation for additional statements throughout the trial. However, from his vantage point, none of the standard answers seemed sufficient or appropriate given the situation in which he found himself. Instead, he just decided to speak his mind.

"I am defenseless. I have no defense. I am unable to say that Iím guilty or not guilty. But please don't misunderstand my reply as one of Ďno contest? I won't contest whether I'm guilty or not because my personal involvement really doesn't make a difference. Simply stated, I have functioned as a portal through which these alleged revolutionary, heretical, and dangerous concepts have gained life - a life in the form of comprehensible ideas expressed through standardized linguistic conventions. By saying this, I neither claim credit nor shoulder responsibility for the intellectual generation of these ideas or their tangible manifestations. I truly believe that these ideas possess an objective existence all their own. They are one form of expressive human energy which has taken its refuge, whether it be abhorrent or liberating, in written language. I would never say that these ideas originated within me; I just happened to be the person who expressed them in written form. I don't know if this is a crime or not; nor will I argue it. Therefore, I'm clearly defenseless. However, given the fact that this is a formal legal affair, I will gladly participate in a critical discussion of these ideas, and, as for the legal ramifications, well, I just believe I'm not involved."

"As an individual human, I acknowledge my obligation to act as a responsible member of society. However, within the realm of ideas, I believe that I exist only as a manifestation of the vast, amorphous, and energetic entity that is humanity. It is my view, that as humans, we don't create ideas but rather realize or comprehend them, and then, in turn, we give these discoveries dimensional expression. In cultures that emphasize individualistic efforts, there is also commonly a system of rewards and failures which often mistakenly attributes particular achievements to specific people. These individuals are cast in the role of singular societal benefactor, disregarding the inherent eclectic aspect of all human knowledge as well as the objective essence of the totality in which we all reside."

"Looking back at human evolution, there seems to be a natural progression of thinkers and resultant human action. I believe that this evolution wasn't so much a process of creation or even remarkable application, but rather a result of heightened awareness and eventual successful and fortunate enactment. Within this context, I see myself not as an instigator or blasphemous revolutionary, but rather as a person who has almost literally pulled ideas from the air and given them life. In this way, the existence of the ideas in no way depends on my existence, or, for that matter, the results of this trial. The ideas have existed long before I did and will exist long after. In the end, as ridiculous as the query might seem on the surface, perhaps the much more relevant question actually is whether the totality of existence bears guilt or responsibility."

"I therefore see myself as defenseless like every other human being who has ever perceived, shared, or expressed a thought. At base, if these ideas had not found their expression through me, undoubtedly, someone else would have acted as the channel of human energy. Amazingly, our intrinsic egalitarian essence as members of the same species provides all of us which the same opportunity for similar perception and expression."

"The court will recognize this statement as a plea of not guilty for the time being. Forthwith, we will commence with a statement and questioning from the prosecutor's side. Counselor if you please."

"Thank you. I must say that the defendant has given us all a rather interesting and perhaps unique explanation of his actions and thoughts. All of that notwithstanding, I think we had better go back to the 'nuts and bolts' of this case and focus in on what exactly the defendant is being charged with. To reiterate, the charge is the propagation of revolutionary ideas that are destructive to the very foundation of this country's political, cultural, and spiritual structures."

"This, in fact, is an extremely serious accusation and must be viewed with the utmost care in order to render a correct verdict. It is my role as prosecutor to show clearly that the defendant knowingly and maliciously formulated the aforementioned ideas and disseminated them in the form of literature with the sole purpose of not only undermining, but also destroying, the very existence of our great country's political, cultural, and spiritual institutions. A review of each and every heinous segment of the defendantís heretical and counterculture treatise will clearly demonstrate to the jury that the defendant should be penalized with the most strict sentence for his crime against the republic. I will now proceed with my questioning."

"Mike, what was your purpose in creating your most recent piece of writing?"

"I wanted to express the thoughts that were in my mind in the hope that these ideas could be discussed freely throughout the world and lead to the positive and productive advancement of life on this planet."

"And what exactly were the ideas in your mind?"

"A variety of topics. Would you like to know everything?"

"Well, why don't you give us a general outline to start with."

"O.K. If I had to put my ideas in a general form or categorize them, I have to say that most of my ideas take the form of questions."

"What kind of questions?"

"Usually questions that address or analyze the essential nature of things or act as a means to deconstruct thought patterns or instinctive behavior in order to reach a level of cognitive understanding. The questions take various forms: some spring from the experience of observation; some manifest themselves from external stimuli such as verbal communication or the assimilation of information; and others seem to emerge from inside, from some inherent well of inquisitiveness. In addition, some of the questions are constructed in order to act as a means of deciphering various situations."

"I'd say that, generally speaking, I have an analytical mind which constantly examines whatever I come in contact with, in whatever form. It's not a pastime, but rather a natural characteristic. Quite frankly, sometimes it's frustrating and annoying to be consumed, and, at times, distracted, mentally by so many questions. However, it never becomes a serious problem unless I allow myself to wallow in negative introspection."

"And yet, I eventually realized that I needed an outlet of some kind, and this is what led me to start writing; not that it is entirely a therapeutic process. But, after a fair amount of self-deprecation and an unsavory over dependence on self-doubt, I figured that writing was the best, and perhaps, the only way I could develop my ideas for productive purposes, both for myself and maybe for other people."

"What exactly do you mean when you say 'deconstruct'?"

"I view the process of deconstruction to be a positive action through which things can be examined and seen from a variety of perspectives. It's a procedure of dismantling an idea into its most basic parts and examining each of those different pieces separately. After considering a concept in this way, the objective whole is open to various, perhaps novel, interpretations and relative progressions of thought. Societal axioms and precepts, for example, which are derived from aspects of intellectual or emotional thought as well as systematic or individualistic belief, are elements ripe for deconstruction and subsequent examination."

"I don't know why I repeatedly pursue this pattern of thought with such vigor, but I've never really been able to accept any ideas easily. Perhaps when I was younger, and responding to the challenges of conventional education, I accepted certain concepts more readily. But, like anyone else, as I became older, I began to use the knowledge that I had successively assimilated during my life as a reference and a means to reflect in order to engage in abstract forms of analysis. Gradually, I developed a need to question what I was taught, or whatever information was widely disseminated and sanctioned as the truth."

"I must say clearly, however, that aside from what I consider to be relatively normal adolescent, morbid and quasi-rebellious pondering, I've never tried purposely to attain a sphere of occultism or counterculture perception. It's always been more a matter of wanting to analyze things before deciding to adopt them as ideas that I could rely on. And for me, the best way to accomplish this has always been to question, deconstruct, and gain a fresh perspective while rejecting acceptance based on faith. Simply stated, the mental act of deconstruction and its correlative process of reconstruction have enabled me to make decisions or think along lines that felt instinctively correct to me."

"Why was it that you felt you couldn't accept ideas that were considered axiomatic? Did you feel like you were living in some kind of special world?"

"It's difficult to say for sure. Maybe I just naturally possess an aversion to acceptance. Maybe a psychologist could look at my upbringing and make a determination from that perspective. The contents are straightforward enough: the child of divorced parents is subsequently spoiled by his mother perhaps in an attempt to compensate for the absence of a father or maybe to alleviate matriarchal guilt. And the conclusions might also be fairly basic: the situation produced a person that was distrustful because of a perceived feeling of betrayal created by his parent's actions, and it also fostered a person who was used to getting his own way and therefore had to shape everything into some kind of personally agreeable form before accepting it. However, this type of psychoanalysis seems like a facile and futile response to the very real and inherent proclivity towards mental exploration and extrapolation that I have always had; moreover, my predilection towards breaking through the apparent limitations that have been established in the various forms of human thinking that now exist."

"You asked me if I felt that I was living in some kind of special world, correct? Well, I never thought that my world was anything other than regular, but sometimes I felt that I noticed things that other people didn't. Or, even if other people discerned similar things, I always wondered why they didn't react or have the same feelings as I did. I guess I could never allow myself to enjoy certain aspects of life if I knew that problems existed simultaneously, and so I started to try to think of ways to address, at a philosophical level, the problems that I saw around me."

"Most of that effort was made in the realm of ideas because it seemed to me that even the efforts that were being made to accomplish good deeds in the world were too often vanquished by people who were greedy and self-serving. So I started to think that if I could come up with enough good ideas to improve the world, then I could make a positive contribution. It wouldn't be a means of controlling the ideas of others, but rather an offering from which people could choose to partake and possibly implement that which they believed would be workable."

"I wanted to avoid establishing yet another variation on the 'cult of personality' approach that has been used to wield power by certain individuals or groups in the past for both worthy and vile purposes. Instead, the objective would be an expression of conceptual information that could provide a means through which ideas could be realigned through individual choice and adoption rather than controlled by whatever power factions usually disseminated or imposed ideas and precepts. The purpose was to steer clear of self-aggrandizement and focus on an objective presentation: for example, just as I've listened to music and gained insight that I might not have otherwise found naturally, I thought that dispersing my ideas in some semi-coherent fashion might engender thought or action in other people that could lead to productive results."

"So might you say that you were trying to agitate others through your writings?"

"Certainly it would depend on the definition or connotation of 'agitate' and its intended purposes. But actually, for me, the results were not as important as the effort to express the ideas. I never looked to spur anyone to action. In fact, in my opinion, the assessment of a particular aim would be extremely challenging given that determining exactly what agitates people is a process thatís inherently inconclusive. In addition, the topic of the relationship between objective ideas and any subsequent actions is almost endless in terms of the purported responsibility that the purveyor of those concepts retains. In the end, I believe that the recipient of specific information possesses the only true answers from the standpoint of purpose and execution."

"Expressing ideas is like breathing, in that, a person takes in something and processes it, and then, in exhaling, returns the air in a slightly different form. Of course, if that person is suffering from some highly contagious disease then he or she bears some responsibility to other people to contain the potential release of germs upon exhaling. But I think one difference between this analogy and the reality of disseminating information is that ideas, although perhaps contagious, are usually not lethal until they achieve a state of action. And, for me, it's during that transition from the abstract, as manifested in the form of an idea, to the literal, in the form of an action, that the responsibility shifts to the person who is interpreting the expression."

"Is it correct to assume then that you don't see yourself as an agitator or revolutionary in anyway - someone who conceives of ideas to achieve some kind of displacement of authority and societal norms in the various realms of established human interaction like culture, religion, or economics?"

"I will say that I'm interested in every sphere of human activity, including the ones that you mentioned, and therefore probably consciously, and, at times, subconsciously, scrutinize and assess the multifarious facets of human behavior that manifest themselves in the various realms of human energetic proclivities. That is to say that I look at all human activity and try to understand and make sense of it so that I can decide whether to accept it or not. The difference between myself and the type of person who you seem to be describing as an 'agitator', or, what is commonly accepted as 'agitator', is that that type of person tries to achieve some kind of change or movement of power within a certain realm; whereas, I only examine and then express certain perspectives on a variety of topics related to human action."

"I'm an observer of life and a subsequent disseminator of concepts without any pretense or aspiration for change or results. I feel that I act as a conduit through which ideas can be channeled and then released, hopefully without any personal input. The ideas that I am concerned with already have an existence all their own, but I discern and then express them. In other words, any person could do the same thing if they took the time to consider various issues and then decided to write about them. The knowledge ensconced in the ideas expressed isn't esoteric in any way. Actually, it's just awaiting discovery. It's like turning on a faucet and having water come out - I'm just twisting the handle. It doesn't take any special ability, anyone could do it, and probably many people are doing the same thing right now. However, what people do with the water is another matter."

"It seems to me, however, that you are not only examining various aspects of life and human activity, but you're also casting judgments. What kind of authority or right do you think you have to make these types of judgments?"

"I've often thought about my ability to judge and/or my right and perhaps my responsibility. This is a topic that deserves a fair amount of discussion because of its relevancy in this courtroom, and also because it's something that all humans must consider no matter what kind of life they are living."

"I don't think that humans have an inalienable right to judge others because of their societal standing. Of course, I recognize the viability and seemingly virtual necessity of establishing a mechanism through which certain judgments can be made within a given culture or society, but I don't think this power of judgment is born naturally. It is a by-product of a culture's hierarchical structure. At times, however, it appears as if some of the people who occupy various societal roles, through the course of time, deem their position to be a sovereign right. And often the positions of societal power are decided based on information that is faulty, pernicious, prejudicial, or discriminatory, thus leading to warped allocations of power and social standing."

"For example: legacies and royalties that decree the predominance of a certain family or group; amalgams of jaundiced misunderstanding and hatred that solidify into discriminatory and exclusionary structures which suppress and exploit certain groups; politically and religiously oriented associations which thwart the social mobility of certain groups or individuals; and restrictive economic policies and international standards that squelch financial opportunities and hope for various national entities and/or individuals. These are just a few manifestations, but the practice of establishing and subsequently wielding power which concurrently allows certain people to judge others occurs within the most extreme macro and microcosms. Of course, there is always some kind of intellectual and/or physical rationale for the resultant judgmental actions, or so it seems, but I would contend that the entire process of humans judging others than themselves is flawed and perhaps ultimately in vain. And yet it goes on and on."

"I think the only entities that have the proper power to make judgments of a certain individual are that individual and whatever spiritual entity or God that that person believes in. I believe that this is the case because, although the totality of human knowledge exists within us all and is potentially accessible to all humans, no one individual has the complete capacity to assume the perspective of another and gain the full understanding of that other person's thoughts because the details and personal mix of traits and experiences are too complicated. In other words, everyone has the ability to tap into the great reservoir of knowledge that resides and flows through all of us. But, in terms of deciphering another person's internal energy and mental and physical states, which are constantly in flux anyway, to the extent that judgments can be made about that person, is a concept that appears to be inexact at best and perhaps impossible."

"Well, just the same, we're in a court room now, and the duty that lies before us is to make certain judgments. But, because you've brought it up, let's speak for a while about that whole process of judging and who possesses the right to judge."

"It seems to me that you've made a statement which is based on a certain perspective or belief. Namely, that you believe that human beings can't judge other humans because they lack the exact same perspective that that individual possesses. Let's take a look at the methodology of judging, however, from a logical point of view, and see if there isn't some way that we might, in fact, be able to justify this seemingly heinous tendency of ours."


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