Regarding the moral of the story, not quite.
Of course, what one is told may be false. What one hears and sees may also be false. Though the perpetrator of the deception is someone else – some group, some community, some government, some religious group – the actual deceiver is your mind, armed with the most effective and deadly weapon in its arsenal, fear.
I do not believe in what I see, hear, or read. I believe only in what I feel, what I sense. Deception, illusion, delusion, all distort or alter reality. The mind is a liar. I believe what I feel in my heart. Belief makes it real.
A photographic portrait is not a likeness; it is an interpretation. The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph, it is no longer a fact but an opinion. There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth. Belief alone determines both truth and reality.
Magic is control of the authorship of your own destiny. As a magician, you hold the pen in your own hand with which the story of your life is written.
Claim mastery over your own destiny. Become the truth that is magic. You are the magician. Cast yourself – fearlessly. You are the spell.
That is the moral of the story. Believe what you will, then make it real.
Regarding relationships, in that constant battle of freedom versus responsibility, Westerners err perhaps in favour of freedom, while Easterners err perhaps in favour of responsibility.
To me, a Westerner, though uniquely so, a balance which advocates and champions tolerance and compassion, is perhaps ideal. I do not join groups of any kind, because I do not want anyone else meddling in my business. I do not follow the rules. I regulate myself. Life is not a game of rules and penalties. I adhere only to my own code of ethics. I cultivate and am self-responsible for my own relationship with heaven, and its deities, with Earth, and her creatures. My only community is the one of my own creation, most of its members inanimate objects granted animation by and through me, through their naming.
The West may seen decadent to the East. To be decadent means to fall from grace, to sin against god. There is no sin without guilt; no guilt without shame; no shame without fear; no fear without servility. No truth for the poet but that soaked in blood.
Count me among the decadent if that means that I, too, would fight and die for freedom rather than submit to oppression. There is no such thing as the common good. Those in power dictate only what is good for them; to hell with the masses of deluded subservient humanity.
Man is a time only, when himself his flesh and spirit is, created and creator, suicidal resurrection; and in every time a wildness and a wiseness, worse than he is, and better—his comedies all vice, his tragedies all horror of vice, his truth a desperation of extremes.
No government or church can or should endeavour to alter the destiny of man. I, for one, will not suffer or endure an instant of that abuse of power.
I am not raging, only raving.