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‘The Scorch Trials’ is part two of ‘The Maze Runner’ series. The Gladers (heroes) have escaped from a giant maze, which was an experiment to discover the strong. Turns out that the ‘Wicked’ corporation faked their rescue to capture them. Realising this, they escaped from their (second) fake sanctuary into no-man’s land to fend for themselves, while seeking the resistance (‘The Right Arm’) against Wicked.

But it is a case of jumping from the frying pan (of the relatively more serene ‘Glades’) into the fire (of the ‘Scorch’). The Glades were their first sanctuary, though an illusory one, set in the centre of the maze, while the Scorch is the open but desolated wasteland outside, ‘the desert of the real’. When not threatened by the elements, there are the flesh-eating Cranks (zombies), ex-humans infected by the ‘Flare’ virus.

Just as the Gladers escaped from the Maze for freedom, they had to escape from the Scorch too. Freeing ourselves from false refuges, we need to seek ever higher refuge until the ultimate is found. Samsara is delusion multi-layered. If without physical and spiritual bearings, are we not too like lab rats complacent with a little reward each day, when stuck in one maze or another? (Yes, the Scorch is an open ‘maze’ too, with no map to beyond.)

The Gladers were invaluable to Wicked as they are Immunes, with the cure within. Furthering the lab rats analogy, the humans in control have grown so Wicked that they are willing to experiment upon and sacrifice their own kind for the rich and powerful. As Gandhi said, ‘The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.’ If so, the greatness of humanity decides how humans are treated too.

The man-made Flare was for population control, but went out of hand. Wicked yet familiar? Think animal experimentation again, and livestock related viruses (Bird-flu, SARS, Mad Cow…) forced into being. Is the Flare not unchecked evil to other sentient beings karmically spilling back to humans? Let us not potentially become lab rats by being complacent to exploitation of any sentient being. Non-speciesism for all! Join the resistance now, by not supporting any cruelty. This is the true way to win ‘The Scorch Trials’ – by not letting them begin.

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