You are wearing thumbscrews since childhood.
If they somehow get a little loose, you tighten them back on yourself, just to keep things feeling normal.
With a crushed will you don't even try doing what you are capable of doing because even vaguely thinking about it brings up the fear that the screws will be tightened even more.
You have memories...
With shocking efficiency modern schooling and corporate-herded society have applied thumbscrew devices to your brain, your heart, your body and your being.
1. Screws are clamped on your brain to cripple your perceiving and thinking so you can only function within a framework of external authority. From then on, instead of ongoingly generating interesting new frameworks from within yourself, you search for the "correct" framework outside of yourself. You automatically adapt to that external authority so you know what to do and when to do it without getting in trouble. Your life curriculum is already determined. Nobody has ever asked you what you want to learn (as in the film Accepted) so you can't imagine that asking this question of yourself might be valid. Unpredictable actions never become an option.
2. Screws are clamped on your heart so that feeling numb equals feeling good. Your rocket fuel is locked away. Your squeeze-dried heart can no longer cry out what is important to you.
3. Screws are clamped to your body so you cannot engage in work that matters to you. Instead you merely survive.
4. And perhaps most horrifyingly, clamp-rings squeeze your being, so you cannot unfold into what you are, which means you cannot give what you have because you don't have it, and you cannot let yourself be seen because you cannot be you.
After a couple decades the handicap becomes normal. Even if you suddenly recognize that present culture is suiciding the planet, you are unable to take unprescribed actions.
You are too numb and scared to leave your pitiful job.
You are too disconnected from yourself to creatively organize with like-minded people to develop a culture that you would love to live in.
You are too ashamed to admit that the slave masters have succeeded in sucking out your will. Since you think you are keeping this a secret you cannot ask for help.
You cannot stop shopping, drinking, smoking, overeating.
You cannot stop those occasional rage fits, or the depression.
You cannot turn off and discard your TV.
You cannot resist the internet sex.
You cannot wear old clothes or go without shaving your armpits or legs.
You cannot hesitate to compare yourself to the computer-enhanced magazine images of ideal product users.
And you cannot speak openly for fear of being beaten into submission again.
What sort of spineless scum have you become?
No amount of increased awareness can get you to change behavior because your will has been snuffed. Any resistance must be nonviolent for fear the pain will return.
You are a prisoner of memories of childhood nightmares. What is the use of trying to get out? You may as well keep putting on the smiley face and pretending everything is just fine.
Sure it hurts to keep the thumb screws on.
But it probably hurts even more to loosen the screws and feel your lifeblood start circulating into unexpected capacities. Is that even possible? Could unrecognized beneficial talents still come to life?
That is an edgework question.
Who put the thumbscrews on, actually?
What was their original purpose?
Are conditions still the same around you?
Have you learned anything in the meantime that could make a different solution possible for you now?
What if you discovered there were small secret teams all over the world helping each other loosen the thumbscrews on all four bodies? Slowly, carefully, and thoroughly. Without permission. Taking extraordinary actions by the power of their own authority.