Excerpts from The Islanders – A Fable
The insular society became more and more complex, and we can look at only a few of its outstanding features. Its literature was a rich one. In addition to cultural compositions, there were numerous books which explained the values and achievements of the nation….
There was also a system of allegorical fiction, which portrayed how terrible life might have been, had society not arranged itself in the present reassuring pattern….
Since the skills of boatbuilding had no obvious application within this society, the effort could easily be considered absurd. Boats were not needed—there was nowhere to go. The island was not a prison. But it was a cage with invisible bars, more effective than obvious ones ever could be….
The stirring consciousness of escape potential was not very discriminating… A vague concept of navigation cannot become useful without orientation….
Bizarre versions of swimming or shipbuilding often crowded out possibilities of real progress.
Continued: The Islanders – A Fable, from book The Sufis, by Idries Shah.
Photo: Lost, ABC TV.