Forward they plod,
Driven forth by their shadows.
Cries of anguish fill their lungs
As the weight of the yoke
Under which they toil
Bears down upon their shoulders.
A yoke of invention and reinvention.
An apparition masquerading as revealed truth.
The yoke of good news.
Under the strain they groan.
Under the gaze of their
They clamber forth
Trudging through a world viewed in
Eyes cast only up or down.
Track Name: Chains and Garlands
The road to hell is paved with good intentions,
But lined with flowers:
Their warmth preventing
The caress of cold metal from the skin;
And their hue keeping
The glint of steel from the eye.
Yet a prison adorned in splendor
Remains a prison nonetheless.
This is bondage from within and without
Garlanded with the
Of a new life yet to come;
A condition of confinement
Undergirded with efflorescent wreaths;
A chain which requires its garland
Lest it cease to be a chain:
The shackle yoking the droves
Together in their masses,
As they labor obediently in
The miasma radiating from their flora.
But when the pedals fall away
(One by one)
The mist recedes to reveal
The vale of tears
Track Name: Cull the Living Flower
A true Eden could bloom
Beneath their feet
From the soil on which they tread.
No fallacious blossoms these,
If only they cared to see them.
But not the droves:
Beneath their heavy gait
Roots long to crack the earth
In an affirmation of
The living flower—
An amelioration of the vale
If only the yoke were tossed off
And the chain seen without its wreath:
A blinding iron shackling these masses
To their false glory;
Keeping them interned in a cave,
Cowering at the shadows dancing on the wall
By the light of their invented candle.
The sun gleams beyond the cave’s walls,
Beyond the yoke,
On the soil of the living garden
Trampled by this flock.
But they plant only poppies
Grown in a halo:
Sealing us in the vale,
Blocking out the sun.
"Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.
Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and cull the living flower. The criticism of religion disillusions man, so that he will think, act, and fashion his reality like a man who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses, so that he will move around himself as his own true Sun. Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself."
-Karl Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right (1844)