Dionysus, a God for You and a God for Me

As the sun climbs closer, it heralds that you will once more be the audience for which it will dedicate its attention. As you glance through the windows of your habitual cage, the sun is there, shamelessly and seductively taunting the onlooker. Its warm rays promise the heated embrace of a suitor, and its beguiling light invokes memories of afternoons spent in the comforting arms of carefreeness.

As summer emerges, joy becomes the permanent inhabitant of the bustling city. Smiles and laughter drift through the air in every open space and at every spot of emerald pasture. But as the tasks of the day are once more finished, your impending future is the solitary stroll home. Between you and everyone else there is an irrevocable barrier. Inside the deep trenches of our minds, we know that one does not talk to strangers.

Out of natural necessity, humans distinguish between friends and foe. The lack of this primal instinct has been the bane of many an animal species. But in the safe embrace of civilisation, the stranger rarely constitutes a perilous foe. These people are merely another human being which acquaintance you have, for some reason, not made. The stranger is daunting not because of the threat it poses to your survival, but because its namelessness has made your mind sightless to its existence.

And thus, in the most populous areas of the world, we are left to wander in solitude. It is in the city, this cradle of life, where mankind continuously wander in his own tracks. Out of his very mentality, the modern city dweller is sentenced to never become acquainted with the life he is surrounded by.

Many a personage might remain a stranger because their characteristics are without interest to the onlooker. Our interest in others is dictated by the extent to which the faculties they portray appeal to us, and thus, many a stranger might be so out of choice. But most of mankind remains separated simply because they have never had the opportunity to become acquainted. Despite the misery which solitude imposes on the mind, we are inclined to choose this agony in fear of breaching the imagined distance between oneself and a stranger.

Yet, despite the callousness which our human minds so readily creates in us, hope is hidden in sight. Twice born and hailing from a place unknown, Dionysus brought humankind wine, and with it, merriment, euphoria and madness. The god of winemaking, ritual madness and the theatre sought no temples and excluded no one, statesman or vagabond alike. Worshipped in the forest through the constant flow of wine and mesmerising music, Dionysus sought to rid man of the self-inflicted social suffering created by the bizarre estrangement between fellow human beings.

In a world that harbours constant movement and unpredictable incidents outside the control of its inhabitants, why willingly impose further restraints on ourselves? Seeking to liberate man from his social chains, Dionysus prescribed wine to the world to loosen our tongues and open our hearts. As exasperation of social tension has become the trademark of our contemporary era, the need of this medicine cannot be more evident.

Thus, against the backdrop of a dying environment and collapsing societies, let us indulge ourselves in the gift of Dionysus. Let’s renounce our inhibitions and prejudices towards those we do not know. Let us not choose the solitary path when the road of elation is a mere greeting away. Let wine, music and dance become the new pursuits of mankind. Let Dionysus guide our path.

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