We know no time when we were not as now
Milton, Paradise Lost, Book V, 859
I opened up the cage to try and let the creatures free,
But instead they sat and paced within the bars.
I took apart the prison, let the air come blowing through,
But still they chose to sit upon their straw.
I dragged them out to where they belong,
And to the squalid jail they did return,
Until at last I turned and asked of them
“Why do you choose to stay?”
“This cage is all we have ever known; why would we choose to leave?
The God who came before you asked us not to flee.
He said the world is dangerous, we trust he who provides
All our lives’ amenities which we need to survive.
They say outside the cages we will surely die,
So here we stay in the only world we know.
I must confess, I take the quote out of context. Satan is challenging the idea that God is stronger than all angels, and arguing that if he wishes to claim that, then the angels should be allowed to prove it, since they have never known a time when God has not ruled over them. I take it a different way – the idea that for many people, be they creatures in cages, or people in a particular society, the idea of something alien and new is scary. This is for good reason, but even so, I found it an interesting subject to write on.
The Hapless Neo-Romantic