The secret?

They imprisoned me,they beat me,
I didn’t eat or drink in days.
The days were almost unbearably hot,the nights horribly cold.
They promised me freedom and riches,women and land.
When this gave no result(it couldn’t),they went back to the shouting and the beatings.
What they wanted,and the cause of my suffering and privations was the secret,my secret.
This,I had kept since I was a boy.
The fact is,it had been a childish game,a way to make myself special and attract interest and attention.
Since then,and throughout his life,he had never made an effort to hide the fact that he had a secret.
On the contrary,he himself had spread the information or rumour that he was the guardian or knower of a unique secret,which was neither known nor imagined by any other being,alive or dead.
This fact and circumstance had given him a certain status,an image and a reputation,a form of respect or reverence,almost fear and envy he received from others.
His secret and the effect it would have on people and the world around him taught him to operate on levels and in ways increasingly beyond the vision and understanding of his fellows.
He learnt to operate the clockwork of humanity.
He learnt to hide or teach,create or destroy.
Without learning a single craft,he learnt all crafts.
Or at least he gave this impression to people.
He became a myth,created by himself and believed by the rest.
Everything had changed with the war.
Hate,suspicion,fear and greed drove the people to terrible acts.
Many wanted to know his secret(as they always had done).
Now,they thought,they had the opportunity to learn it, to extract it.
The man died on the 15th day.
His tormentors remained unsatisfied,although they soon forgot everything,as their species generally does.
The prisoner,the famous and powerful ‘Man of the Secret’ had not told them more than,
‘There is no secret.
The secret in itself does not exist,
that is,it’s a labyrinth or a mirage.
It’s a puzzle that doesn’t have,or doesn’t need,a solution.
The secret I boasted about in my childhood was a fantasy,a trick,a kind of lie(although never false).
My secret was that I didn’t have a secret.
By saying I had a secret,this became reality.
People believed me,so the fact that I had no secret became a secret.
As the murderers(when the man died,this had converted them to murderers,just as it had converted the man to ‘dead’)had not understood his words-HIS SECRET!-and as they soon forgot the mystery,the man and maybe everything-we deal with a secret that doesn’t exist,
already forgotten except for this tale.
You know the truth of this story,so the secret that never was, now is not.
It could be,therefore,that it has no value.
And so it would be,was it not for the fact that a man had lived,fed himself,achieved fame,wealth and power(and then pain and death),all by convincing others that he had a secret.
A secret that never was,but will always be.

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