Cato and Caesar
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By “Caesar” I mean “the other side”—not selfless giving, but selfishness; not freedom, but bondage; not virtue, but the opposite—domination rather than cooperation. Caesar is evident every day in the news—the government mandating law-abiding schoolchildren to wear masks, destruction of life and property made sacred through the title of opposing racism, et cetera. Caesar is everywhere. And humanity is walking right into his arms, no complaints whatsoever.

The term “Caesar” in the sense I am using originates from the pen of Joseph Addison in 1712. His play, Cato, follows the story of a man (Cato of course) who stands with a few allies and friends against the conquering grasp of the tyrant Julius Caesar as he tries to take over the Roman Republic. At his last stand, Cato’s allies betray him and flee to Caesar, and the world seems that it is collapsing on this Roman soul of such great virtue and honor. The world is against him, and all have chosen Caesar. I can just imagine the scene: Cato, a determined flicker in his eye, standing tall with conviction even though all hope has fled, crying out in despair: “[God] must delight in virtue; And that which He delights in must be happy. But when or where?—This world was made for Caesar.”

    Probably we all have felt a little of Cato’s despair lately—what with the threat of a chaotic election, pandemics, riots, and government regulations. Everywhere we turn, we feel as if we are being controlled. But when we try to oppose this control, the political world shuts us down, “cancels” us, and calls us racist—in other words, they use every conceivable end to destroy the Cato in us. Doing good is an uphill battle. What we know to be right and true, the world strictly opposes with all its forces and replaces with shallow ideas and short-term satisfaction. We are offered liberty, but instead the world and humanity seem to be made to tend towards bondage and self-destruction. All political power in the world seems to be held by those who want what Caesar wanted—and those who hold no political power go right along with it.

    This is the tipping point—the point where we shake our heads, murmuring with Cato, “This world was made for Caesar. In every political battle virtue and truth are slaughtered and Cato is cut down.” But as we say this—and here is the start of hope—we realize we were created to be something better than this. We are here on earth to find a way to overcome human errors and flaws. Our whole purpose stems from the fact that we were given life to become something beyond, something better than the norm; better than what human nature automatically tends to. We are here to find a way to stay true to our eternal souls while living in a human body with human desires and passions. What the world forgets—and what Caesar forgets—is that there is no world for Caesar. The world doesn’t belong to Caesar because it has a purpose beyond him. But this is only the tip of the iceberg—there is more.

It’s all an illusion—the world thinks it was made for Caesar, but it really isn’t. And Caesar thinks the world belongs to him, but it really doesn’t. And this illusion after illusion seems like it has built us high in the air, but it really hasn’t, because air is not a solid foundation. But everyone is totally convinced. And what is so frightening is the solid truth. The more we build on these illusions; the more we try to give ourselves to Caesar; the more we shut down and destroy “Cato”; the deeper we get lost in the beguiling lie. And the more we build upon the steps of illusion; the more we build our foundation on air; the higher we have to fall when we finally wake up.