The tamers of wild animals know as "breaking the soul" the process of submission of the beasts by which a seal applauds or an elephant does stupidities typical only of a human.
It is curious that, despite the evidence of the physical damage that this bloody metamorphosis entails (open wounds, broken backs, mutilations), in this case they do not use a euphemism, but call things by their name:
breaking the soul
, one of the topical but effective expressions that are often used when our first love hurts us: it has broken my soul.
But how naive we are.
That is not possible, because before reaching adolescence we already have a broken soul, with one difference: they have sold us their fracture as education, savings, civic sense.
We have all been raised from childhood in the fiction that our education is designed to cement the exercise of greater freedom, which we can enjoy when we are adults.
Logically, this cannot happen, because we exercise a production-oriented instrumentalization that is absolutely rooted in the identities and entities that make us up, from the school to the media that fix these defective structures in the masses.
promising future blackmail
towards the child, an irreversible transformation that goes through a covert process of tameness and meekness, a system that unfortunately does not allow love to be the first feeling that breaks our souls, head-on, without artifice, without obscure the transparency of that pain.
I am sitting on a bench in the oldest zoo in the world.
It was founded in 1752 as the imperial menagerie of Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.
Years ago I used to resist going into any zoo, but considering that any of us have come to know the total extinction of various species, opposing zoos seems like a stage gesture to me.
I write this in the wake of an intense emotion that I experienced a few minutes ago, in front of the orangutans' glass enclosure.
In the background was an orangutan who, turning around, turned out to be a female, holding her baby just as I was holding my six-month-old daughter at the time.
She got closer slowly, until the only thing that stood between our nose and our smell was the glass.
He watched us while stroking the tiny head,
with scattered orange locks of her baby, who with wide-open black eyes looked at her mother in that paradoxical way that contains the gaze of babies: with more admiration than thought.
More and more people came who wanted to attend what seemed to be an unusual gesture of presentation by the orangutan mother.
Despite the emotion caused by this kind of communication between her and me, two different species of primates, I know that my experience has not been unique.
Videos with similar scenes circulate on the networks.
Other mothers have witnessed this interaction by great primates that approach to proudly show their baby and take an interest in that other baby who is on the other side of the confinement, with a look that is no more intelligent, a tenderness that is not it is more human.
This leads me to remember an episode that I lived in my doctorate years: I met a boy with whom I liked to talk, he was intelligent, I had fun.
My interest turned to revulsion the moment he told me about his new job: he was paid to raise, play with, pamper and gain the trust of baby chimpanzees who arrived at the university lab, so that when needed carry out a new experiment, he would extend his hand to them and they, confident of the programmed and murderous affection, would march without question towards the experimentation with his body.
This person used words very similar to these, which I remember precisely because of the impact his coldness caused me: "They trust me and come without question."
In other words, this person was in charge of what tamers know as "breaking the soul",
I was disgusted by the figure of the protector, of the father, as a means towards betrayal and torture.
Then I think of the story by Leopoldo Lugones in which the narrator describes the experiments that he carried out with a monkey that he had bought in the surplus of a ruined circus, whom he called
The experiments were based on a legend from the island of Java that claimed that the fact that monkeys do not speak is not due to a physiological or intelligence disability.
Alluding to the fact that
there is no scientific evidence that the monkey does not speak
, the conclusion is that monkeys do not speak so that they do not make them work.
Based on this belief, the new owner of the monkey will begin to gradually torture him to try to get the words out of him.
If I think about it, the work of that boy from my university and the actions of the owner of
they are not so extraordinary in their cruelty as it might seem to me.
Like these chimpanzee pups, we have all been educated in submission.
And they have subdued us with such skill that it is a submission that, in the event that we find out, we will not be willing to face, because by then we will no longer be able to give up the subjugation mechanisms, which in many cases include certain comforts that we do not want to do without.
In recent years we have all been able to feel the fragility of individual freedom, that sensation of unstable, shifting peace, which we previously only attributed to countries with conflicting policies, but I do not think we have fewer freedoms than before;
it's just that the pedagogy of submission has become more evident, though it still doesn't matter.
That is the assumed torture.
How to mitigate for my daughter even part of that pedagogy of submission?
Perhaps I should not tell him that I myself have committed crimes that I do not regret.
Do I tell her what I really think so that by complaining she runs the risk of ending up being what is known as a
Or deceive her by teaching her respect and obedience to the idiocy of certain authorities so that she ends up dancing to the rhythm of the city organ?
I do not know yet.
But I don't think I can instill in him the gift of blindness, because I don't have it.
The experiments with
end with his death, but in the last minutes of his agony the chimpanzee manages to mutter his first and last words:
“I LOVE, WATER, I LOVE, MY LOVE”.
These words, not by chance, are of need and submission.
My daughter still does not understand, but I pronounce for her
I spit wine at the orders and wars of my boss.
I tell him:
"We will respect the silence of the monkeys who do not want to work."
I will try that love is the only thing that breaks your soul.
is a writer, author of
Six Ways to Die in Texas
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