You can render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, but if you don't keep from Caesar that which is yours, Caesar will take some, and than take some more, and if you don't put a stop to it, though you won't lose everything - you can't lose everything; there's things he can't take, at least one or two - a time will soon come when you'll think you've lost everything, when you'll think all is Caesar's, and by then you'll be too weak to take what's yours back, too tired to remember what was yours to begin with, and you'll end up, perversely, scheming for his leavings and, even more perversely, grateful when you get them.
What is it, what nameless, inscrutable, unearthly thing is it; what cozening, hidden lord and master, and cruel, remorseless emperor commands me; that against all natural loving and longings, I so keep pushing, and crowding, and jamming myself on all the time; recklessly making me ready to do what in my own proper, natural heart, I durst not so much as dare?
No, I wanted to say, he didn't cut off her hands because he didn't have to, he had cut them off long before, with years of keeping all authority in his own palms, all the rules and all the power and all the answers emanating from him and no one else. And if you don't understand that, if you've never been in such a family, then you can't know the way the mind shackles itself and amputates its own limbs so adeptly that you never think to miss them, never think that you had anything so obscene as choice.
Along with the mystical wonderment and sense of ecological responsibility that comes with the recognition of connectedness, more disturbing images come to mind. When applied to economics, connectedness seems to take the form of chain stores, multinational corporations, and international trade treaties which wipe out local enterprise and indigenous culture. When I think of it in the realm of religion, I envision smug missionaries who have done such a good job of convincing native people everywhere that their World-Maker is the same as God, and by this shoddy sleight of hand have been steadily impoverishing the world of the great fecundity and complex localism of belief systems that capture truths outside the Western canon. And I wonder if everything's connected, does that mean that everything can be manipulated and controlled centrally by those who know how to pull strings at strategic places?