After a while, one tires of having one's morality questioned. These men of high standing and high conviction - saviors all - set out to prove their worthiness of the worship they craved. For them to prove this would be salvation, forever silencing any criticism. They would travel into the desert alone and without water, only to return by virtue of their superior virtue. Opinion among onlookers, however, was divided.
"They ain't takin' no water with 'em? They's must knows sumpthin I don't. That's just nuts!" wondered the Old Fool.
"Shut up, you old fool. These are men of great faith, not like us," mocked the saviors' supporters.
"That means they don't be needin' water?"
"It means they will find a way to get water if they do need it. It's so inspiring! I do so admire them."
"I dunno. It just seems kinda dum to me."
"It seems dumb to you because you are dumb. Now be quiet before you make an even bigger fool of yourself. And learn some fucking grammar!"
Having reached the point of no return - a point where souls must find water or perish - the five men beamed with pride and self-pleasure.
"Praise be to the Lord!" sayeth the Priest, pointing to the sky like a home run hitting ball player.
"Just look at our power!" declared the General.
"How obvious it is my views should prevail!" ruled the Politician.
"Who can deny the system that got us here!" demanded the Moneyist.
"Mind over matter!" sold the Positivity Peddler.
But who would make it back alive? Too many days would pass before their bodies would end up as corpses in the sand. Still, the very idea of returning to endless glory thrilled these men out of their minds.
"I'll be declared holiest of the holy!" rejoiced the Priest.
"I'll be able to wage war without opposition!" conquered the General.
"I'll be able to pass every law I see fit!" authored the Politician.
"I'll have the world at my feet!" consumed the Moneyist.
"I'll be able to declare paradise found!" deemed the Positivity Peddler.
But even with these noble declarations, Nature refused to cooperate. Bitter panic seeped in to the camp as parched lips cracked under the relentless sun.
"God, don't let a good man die in vain!" prayed the Priest.
"The world dies if I can't wage war!" ordered the General.
"Chaos will rule if I cannot rule!" proffered the Politician.
"We'll live as enslaved savages if the system fails!" borrowed the Moneyist.
"Life will be a series of pointless pursuits if paradise lost!" assumed the Positivity Peddler.
I save you. You save me.
None of the arguments persuaded Nature to change Her course. In the past these arguments had received wild applause, gratifying awards and a certainty of outcome craved by a populace hungry for palatable answers they did not get from within. This was a time for solutions!
"Bring rain to Your true believer, God!" lorded the Priest.
"I'm seizing control of this ground to behave as I say!" marshaled the General.
"I'm passing a law declaring water is not needed!" elected the Politician.
"I'll give the highest price for every drop of water!" bribed the Moneyist.
"The will shall triumph!" goosestepped the Positivity Peddler.
But in the end only five dead bodies were found. There's faith in God and then there's faith in fraud. There's hope in peace and then there's hope in war. There's real world politics and then there's the real world. There's serving Nature and then there's serving illusion. There's trust in truth and then there's trust in lying.
The disillusioned populace spit upon the dead men's hubris and folly. The saviors' Icarus wings exposed them and revealed their true legacy. A new paradigm emerged in the village as the answers from within gained acceptance. But some savior supporters clung hopelessly to save face.
"It doesn't mean anything. Everyone has to die sometime. It's how you live that counts. These men stood for something! They died in the name of greatness. We should honor them absolutely!"
The Old Fool - now named the Old Wise Man - then surmised, "If you's don't care about dyin' then lets kill ya now!"
Those who refused to repent ran off to the desert having no place else to go, hoping to die as their idols and find praise without penance. Those who remained, saved themselves.