The Religion of Self-Enlightenment by E Scialom is available to buy on Amazon. Here is a small sample!
“He was dreaming of a place
Where you don’t have to understand,
Where you just are
The Religion of Self-Enlightenment
He was the kind of person who has forgotten why he is here. He was boring, and proudly so. Every ounce of ingredients the world had thrown at Carrick Ares had been thrown onwards into his life’s oven. The result was horrific, of course – just not to Other People. Yet because this was a segment of Carrick’s reality whose opinions he courted fiercely, he almost managed to sustain the impression that he was that death-of-all-deaths: okay. “How are you?” they would say. “I’m okay”, he would reply. But there was no reason for this, because in Carrick’s truest form there was no way that he could never be anything other than extraordinary. And there was never a single, dreary, rain-soaked moment of his life in which he could possibly reduce himself to the depths of being merely ‘okay’.
If Carrick had his way with how you saw him, if he could really orchestrate your mind, he would make you believe the idea of understanding him to be something of excruciating pain. This was a measure aiming to prevent people from being close to him. For when the sun rose, he would make a conscious decision to reveal nothing that it could not shine upon. He sometimes lost himself in sadness, but aside from these lapses of raw, choking sorrow, he was fine – drained of emotion and devoid of desire, but fine. He understood that this is how you should live. He had seen it in the newspaper and in the eyes and words of the people he met: images of war and rape, the violent condemnation for violent acts, the hatred of who we genuinely and truthfully are.
As a result he had grown afraid and learned to disdain and strongly doubt anything besides that which he had been told by everyone he encountered. Acquiescence was Carrick’s shield against the violence he felt surrounded by. If ever a situation arose, complex and nuanced, requiring him to be something other than an incarnate reiteration he simply learned more things to repeat and did so with an added passion: he had no idea of what it was to be original, to exist.”