I watched a drama series last night on television called Spooks. It’s about a British Secret Intelligence group who, in this episode, are trying to stop a terrorist attack. A scientist is approached by a representative from a terrorist group to create a chemical weapon. The terrorist warns the scientist that if he doesn’t comply, they will wipe out his family. At the same time, the scientist is working for the Intelligence group to help entrap the terrorists.
In the meantime, the leader of this particular assignment is going through a crisis of confidence, where he is doubting everything, including his livelihood. At one point the scientist asks the leader how he copes with living with fear. The leader says as his life is based on lies, he has a box where he keeps his real self.
“What if you lose the box?”
“I would have to reinvent myself.”
The leader starts losing faith in the assignment and tells his boss that he wishes to cancel the assignment. His boss tells him that it is not the assignment he is losing faith in but in himself. To gain the scientist’s confidence, the leader is ordered to lie to the scientist about his family being under protection. The leader is not happy about this deception. The leader reaches a crisis point where he can see the truth behind the organisation. He tries to get his colleagues to “wake up” but his words fall on deaf ears. At one point he says to his colleague, who is also a very good friend, “You are one of them, aren’t you? Are you with me or against me?” His friend doesn’t know what he is talking about.
The leader decides to defect. He tells the scientist he is cancelling the assignment. He confesses to the scientist that they lied to him about his family and begs the scientist to let him help him rescue his family. There follows a mad dash to rescue the scientist’s family. The scientist is, however, having second thoughts as he is happy with his life and his work with the secret service. Going on the run is not how the scientist wishes to live his life.
The other members of the intelligence team are in hot pursuit. They catch up with the runaways. The scientist willingly returns to the Secret Intelligence. There is a poignant moment when the leader tries to get his colleagues to see sense and realise the truth about the secret service, but they can’t relate to him. They think he’s mad. He is completely on his own.
The intelligence team saves the day, the scientist’s family is protected and they capture the terrorists. All’s well that ends well.
At the end of the episode the leader, who has been relieved of duty, has to return all his false identities and leave the bureau. He says goodbye to his boss who tells him they will never meet again. He says goodbye to his colleagues and steps out of the building to embark on a new life outside of the secret service.
I found I could so relate to the defector. There’s nothing more lonely than breaking away from a set of ideas and beliefs and finding no one understands where you’re coming from. I have been in many groups and then found it necessary to break away. Fortunately, I have tons of experience breaking away as I spent years doing contract work. So I’m used to leaving a group without regret. Breaking away from a belief, I find, is very easy. But it can get lonely until you end up connecting with like-minded people again. For a while, within this new group, you think you’ve regained some semblance of security until something inside tells me, it’s time to move on.
I find beliefs to be like a double-edged sword. On the one hand it’s good to believe in something. You cannot survive without a belief. On the other hand, if your belief is so strong and unwavering, how are you going to open up to a new paradigm? How are you going to know when it’s time to let go?
Some people, coming out of a belief system, try to “wake” others up within the system. Trying to do this is as effective as collecting water in a sieve. In the drama series, Spooks, the leader tried to get his colleagues to see things his way but it was a waste of time. The most sensible thing for him to do was to pursue his new way of “seeing” outside of the system. This is what happens when you disconnect from a dominant belief. You step out of the box. It is not up to you to tell others what they should believe. All you can do is wish them well and that they find contentment in whatever they are doing.
There is a time when you break away completely from all ideas and you have to go it alone. Ideas and beliefs are symbolised as the defector’s false identities that he has to give up. While structures and concepts are symbolised as the defector standing out of the secret service building and gazing up at it. It is the same place I’m in right now. The only one I follow is Me. This can be the most lonely, in human terms, because I can’t relate to anyone. While I do connect from time to time with groups to share information, deep inside I know that there is no one that completely understands what it’s like to go it alone. There is not a single person in human form right now that can relate to where I’m coming from. If there is, I haven’t met him/her yet.
I particular loved the part in the drama series, Spooks, when the defector says goodbye to his colleagues. Though they were no longer on the same side, there was still something that connected them. I believe this connection to be love. This love is always there with people whether you are on the same team or not. In love there is understanding. In love there is acceptance. In love there is oneness. When I don’t have a human kindred-spirit I can relate to, it is love that keeps me going. You can never be lonely when you have love.
Breaking away is the sanest thing I have ever done.