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My Brother

Donald P. Goodman III

Version 1.1,
A potent power sits beneath the auto's hood; ten dozen horses couldn't fight its mighty force; against it tree and boulder never firm has stood, but's dragg'd and pull'd along the motor's chosen course. The driver can go anywhere, just at his will, and worry not about the distance, near or far; down valleys deep as pits, o'er mountain, field, and hill, he brings whate'er he wishes with him in his car. He runs his vehicle howe'er he thinks it best, howe'er he thinks will lead him toward his chosen star; the engine, e'en with all its strength, has acquiesc'd that mighty strength submit to driver's mere request.
But if the driver lets the engine take control, its might becomes pure chaos everywhere it goes; where once its strength and po'er its driver did console, it now but risk and peril on his head bestows. And slowly, as the chaos goes, his strength is lost; he's dissipated, weaken'd in his highest state; the more he gives away, the higher is the cost; the longer engine rules the man, the worse his fate. And soon, the car has rul'd so long, he cannot stop; he cannot brake or turn, for now it's grown too late; he goes where'er it leads; he can't control now swap, till gas is gone, or tires are blown, and he must drop.
The engine of my flesh will pull me everywhere, this way and that, wherever fancy may it strike; and it will do what it will wish while we are there, without regard to me or my whole good alike. I need my flesh, just as the driver needs his car: to take me where *I* will, but not to guide my way; yet constantly it pulls me off my course, and far; from where I want and need to be, I go astray. My flesh subdues me, puts me down and holds me there, and runs amuck; I cannot hold the beast at bay. How can I and my flesh this single being share? What moves? Do I, or just these fleshly clothes I wear?
So I must beat it down; just as, when two men fight, I offer all my help to one in hope he wins, and starve th' intended loser; so, in this my plight, I starve my flesh till to obey *me* it begins. My flesh may be my brother, but it's still an ass, a brute which does not know which way its good might lay; the pains of its subjection come, but also pass, while my direction keeps me going on my way. So beat down Brother Ass, and put him in the reins; ignore the constant importuning he will say; our flesh is naught; it merely our true selves contains; so beat it down! Be free from all its heavy chains!