Far away, in a country hidden in a valley covered by fog, lies a village called Struggletown. It’s a village like any other and most villagers live a reasonably happy life: they work, do what needs to be done and on the weekends they usually find small pockets of time to do what they truly enjoy. Some people make instruments on which they make music to which others sing and dance; others carve wood or sculpt. There are philosopher meet-ups and horse races. Some women keep themselves occupied with embroideries and others play games with their children.
A small group of inhabitants however feels restless and unhappy. The people in that specific group are physically naked and under a lot of stress. They seem to be missing normal clothes, like the ones the other villagers wear, but they don’t have the faintest idea why. They hardly ever come out of their hiding places and keep themselves compulsively busy with all kinds of soul searching hoping to get to the root of this problem. Ever since birth these unhappy individuals have heard people whisper about the Queen of MOD, who lives in the Castle of Enmeshment, on top of a very steep and rocky mountain. She has a factory in the basement of Her Castle that produces plain, flesh colored body suits that cover up their nakedness. With artistic skill, the bodysuits are painted in such a way, that they look just like normal clothes but in reality though, the jackets, pants, skirts and cardigans are like the faux finish furniture and chandeliers on the walls of The Castle: only painted on. Nevertheless the people who have visited The Castle and have a suit like that don’t have to hide anymore and can come down to the village, being able to mingle with the other villagers as they almost, though not quite, look like them. From afar there is no visible difference between the clothes of the normal villagers and the fake suits from The Castle. Up close though, the naked villagers fear the imitation may be visible. Therefore they have to make sure at all times to not let anybody come to close, or worse, let anyone touch them, lest their beautiful outfits would be discovered as false.
The Queen of Mod had put in place quite a number of specific requirements in order for the villagers to qualify for these suits. They had to travel to The Castle while making sure that the flow-of-feel-good stays was guaranteed. The flow-of-feel-good refers to a type of energy field that must, at all times, be sustained between the applicants for the suits and the Queen of Mod. It is generally known that the Queen depends for Her well-being fully on being continuously pampered by vibes that make her feel-good-about-herself and She really does make sure that everyone who enters The Castle is feeling the responsibility of meeting her needs in the matter. In fact any visitor who enters The Castle feels almost crushed under the pressure of manipulating his or her own feelings in favor of generating vibes –of-feel-good-ones to the Queen. Too much is at stake for them, now isn’t there?
Halfway to The Castle there is the House of Ego-References, where the naked villagers have to pick up one or more tasks that they are then required to carry out to perfection, without complaining. These tasks consist of certain behaviors: they are to avoid creating or experiencing any tension whatsoever, they must be happy at all times and can never be late. They are not allowed to experience conflicts or disagreements with others. They are not to have sleeping problems and must have time enough to chat while completing their tasks at perfection. They cannot be sick or have money problems and must never complain about anything, while making sure they perform better than the normal villagers.
When finally a desperate naked villager is able to fulfill all these conditions and actually does arrive at the castle in good shape, fresh and fit, without any problems or lack of money, well fed with rosy cheeks and a smile on their face, even though his task was very hard to accomplish, then the Queen of Mod would open the doors to Her Castle of Enmeshment and the villager is allowed in. However if there are any interferences or small hindrances or the villager doesn’t feel so good about the way his task is performed and his face shows that, the Queen of Mod will deny him access to The Castle. Even though he would grovel, promising improvement, the door simply is not opened and the poor villager has to crawl all the way back home to his hiding place, to ponder about how to go about to realize his unavoidable next trip to the Queen of Mod, holder of the suits.
Once inside the castle, the fortunate villager is well received and experiences a sense of homecoming, even though the conditions remain the same at all times: he must keep up the appearance of not having any problems and he must keep the Flow-of-Feel-Good going so the Queen of Mod can feel good about Her Castle, Her hospitality, in short about Herself.
After a few days in the Castle, the naked villager is provided with what he comes for: the plain body suit that looks like a normal outfit.
The situation never is safe though, things can take a turn for the bad at any given moment: a hindrance, an obstacle in The Flow-of-Feel-Good, or if the villager makes a mistake or even if the Queen herself does something that interferes with the good atmosphere makes that She explodes in a terrible temper tantrum and Her yelling would shatter the windows of the Castle. When that happens the villager is kicked out of The Castle and his painted body suit disappears into thin air as if by a trick of black magic. The shocked and shaken villager, naked again, hides as quick as he can and has to find his way back to his dwelling in such a way as not to be seen by others. He then spends some days mourning the loss of his suit and of his efforts and then embarks on the journey to The Castle anew…
Meanwhile the other inhabitants of Struggletown have no idea what is going on in the lives of the naked ones. They just sense that something is different, is “off”, and so they don’t really include the naked ones in their daily lives, even when they are wearing the painted body suit. That makes the body-suit-people feel excluded and lonely. On top of that they are under a lot of stress to make sure that The- Flow-of-Feel-Good towards the Queen is sustained. They walk on egg shells to not make mistakes and work hard to keep the appearances going because they are always at risk that their suits are being taken away from them.
At times when the unfortunate villagers find themselves losing everything again just as they are about to enter The Castle, they break down and are overcome by rage. That causes them to commit crimes and bad acts towards others. It even happens that they kill themselves or their families or that they burn down their own or other people’s houses out of desperation. No, Queen of Mod, as holder of the suits, is never their target, although She would be the one who deserves it. They need her.
One day, a naked villager, who had spent an enormous amount of time and energy thinking about his peculiar way of living, and who had been rejected by the Queen many a time, found himself exhausted and at his wits’ end when he was struck by a mind altering thought: “What if I just make my own clothes, just like the other villagers do. It is strange”, he pondered. “It is strange that I have never thought of that solution before, but I guess my mind wasn’t set up to envision that possibility.” He recognized that since birth, his people had been the naked ones. They were brought with the unquestioned idea that they to get their clothes in an indirect way, through the Queen and through fulfilling tasks and conditions for Her. “So we focused our all out attention and spent all our energy on pleasing the Queen. It never occurred to us that we have the option of providing in our need for clothes ourselves, and the real ones too! We ourselves can meet our needs in a direct way! I can wear whatever clothes I choose.”
He pondered this new concept for a long time as he sensed the vastness of the impact of this insight. Then he concluded, still in awe, “I guess our minds just were not able to generate the concept of that possibility because it wasn’t put in there in the first place. What creatures of habit we are!”
The villager had to collect all his courage to face the fears of going through town with his first self made clothes…but as he grew more skillful in cutting the fabric and sewing the parts together, his fear lessened and eventually subsided all together. He had broken out of the prison of his own mind and opened himself to normal life; he was finally free.
Where the reader goes next…