Truth and Why so Few Have it

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There are consequences.


Hello. How are you? Are you feeling all right? I pray that you are as I sit here in my new place, just about the most perfect space I could imagine for myself. Nothing complicated. Just a room to live and sleep in, about fifteen by thirty, with a walk-closet, a bathroom with a window, my last apartment had a bathroom with no window and no ventilation. Now I can shower, shave, brush my teeth, do all of the grooming modern existence requires to be seen as acceptably approachable, which I was always able to do, only now I can do it in a hassle-free environment, get naked without worrying about who might be watching. If anyone is watching, at least I know who it is.


I'm one of those people you'll meet in life who believes in God absolutely and unequivically. I truly let my life be run by God and I see the hand of God in getting to where I am, a hand helping me over the rough patches, nudging me towards the right route to take, putting my where I need to be to do the work expected of me, and laying all of the material possessions I need before me. I need something and like a miracle it appears. I didn't go out searching for a place to live. A place to live appeared. It's a great story and I will tell it to you one day, but this is an essay about truth.


The truth is I guess I didn't really need a babe yet, but now I have a place to take a girl and cook for her, a place of quiet and beauty, a place I'm happy to share. I did meet a girl on Haverford Ave. in Bryn Mawr, Rachel, we're FB friends now, and she wanted to try sharing my homeless life, thought it sounded romantic. There I was on a bike with all of my possessions strapped to a golf cart on the back, looking fit, lean, clean, not at all like our image of the homeless as dirty, drug addicted, helpless, losers. I was never any of those things. I was just a guy without a home for reasons that are complicated, but began with numerous betrayals of trust by people who don't care about the truth. "The truth is," I told Rachel, "this life I'm living is brutal. It suits me because I'm a brute and clever at finding safe places to squat. I'm fortunate to have a little bit of money so I don't have to worry about food or buying supplies if I need them. But it's not romantic. It's survival and if I had a choice I'd go to a nice place at night that I could call my own, cook a nice meal, take a hot shower, and sleep in a comfortable bed. No one chooses this. Some are forced into it by the bad decisions they make. Some are caught in a crisis that finds them. And some people just get screwed by a whole lot of people who have it out for them because ... just because. I'm in the last group."


I wanted to tell Rachel why a lot of people have it out for me, because I write honestly, truthfully, and that threatens them. I wanted to tell her that these people lie and steal and fear getting caught. I wanted to tell her about my search for truth and how it alienates me from some people. But that's a long drink of water and I didn't want to drown her. As I left she told me her name and said I should look her up on FB.


It's not easy for me to be in intimate relationships with most people because I am unrelenting in my search for truth and I can spot a lie as quickly as a candler can spot a bad egg. I don't have to call everybody on their lies. That's not the point. I don't have to call every player on every game. I'm not in the business of embarrassing people and fighting with them about how they behave. But when I write, I write the truth. I've learned that it just makes a better story and I tell people I interact with the truth about my writing. So now y'all can see how I got in serious trouble.


Personally, I'm never in conflict with the truth. I don't care if the liars hate me, if the cheaters want to hurt me, if the thieves want to steal from me. God has made it clear to me that there is nothing more satisfying to a human spirit than being a truth teller. Not sex, not drugs, not relationships, not games, not winning, not riches, not power, not anything. And it's not Biblical truth, because that's not truth at all. It's not not Biblical truth either, because religion is full of truths, but not truth. Truth, real truth is bigger than one view. It's all views taken in without rancor and then manipulating them over a light of wisdom and knowledge, having an unwavering commitment to find out what is really going on. Do you understand why this is so fulfilling? To know that when you look at anything in this world, including yourself, that you will be able to see into its essence and not fear what you find there is God's greatest gift to a human. It means to be at peace with yourself. There can be no peace within the self without truth.


I've met people of the lie, Scott Peck's term for them, and they can appear happy, but if you look closely you'll see it's a lie. They're just playing at happiness because it's expected, but what they really have are things that they move around to try and better position them, themselves included. They spend all of their time playing for position and in their quest for the perfect position for all things they possess, an impossibility of course, they find no peace. They are never at peace. And if told this, that they are not at peace, so they can't be happy, some might become angry and ask you, "Who are you to tell me I'm not happy?" They might even want to fight you to prove how happy they are. These are people who don't want to be told anything about the consequences of their actions. Like little children they want to be allowed to wallow in their contentment of the moment as they shuffle more pieces into and out of their lives without a second thought. I don't allow that.


Lastly I want to tell you that we are not animals in the sense that we can run our lives well remaining oblivious to the knowledge of the potential consequences of our actions. These amazing organs that we carry around inside our craniums allow us to see the future, along with the present and the past. This ability allows us to do great things, things beyond the limited ability of our physical bodies in time and space. No other creature on this planet that we know of can make that claim and because of this knowingness, this knowingness of miraculous forces outside and inside of ourselves, we can know truth. But the question always remains, are we determined enough to deal with it, the ecstasy and the agony of truth? I am and that makes me a rare individual indeed.


mark henry smith Added Mar 27, 2017 - 4:25pm
I reread this and thought it sounded a little arrogant, like I'm all full of myself, but the truth is that I'm not. I'm just full of God, and spirit, and an unshakable belief in my destiny. But if you want to rhyme, go ahead. My best friend growing up, one of the richest people I've ever met, used to call me Shitty Smitty. I hated it and in return called him Smiley. He hated that. What are best friends for if not to tell the truth to each other?
Dino Manalis Added Mar 27, 2017 - 4:36pm
They can't handle the truth, plain and simple, even if it's staring them in the face!
George N Romey Added Mar 27, 2017 - 5:33pm
I'm very happy that you have the safety and security of a home.  Everyone deserves at least a decent place to live.  Remember people are not perfect.  They sometimes do wrong things. Try to understand and appreciate the totality of the person. 
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Mar 27, 2017 - 9:33pm
Glad to hear that you are no longer homeless Mark. My husband was homeless when we first met, my father helped him out and that's how we got to know each other. So I know from him, second hand, what it's like. Not an experience I would wish on anyone. I know my husband says he rather go to jail or be dead than homeless again. 
Here's hoping that you get that girl, or the one that's right for you. I'm sure God has a plan for you. I just got done talking to someone who said liberals are all godless. Some people disdain truth and just invent whatever helps them sleep better it seems. I know you are quite different from people like that being a truth seeker like myself. Good article BTW. 
Mircea Negres Added Mar 28, 2017 - 4:31am
Mark, when you talk about yourself just about every sentence has "I" in it. This isn't arrogance, pride or narcissism, but simply because it's about you. Thanks for letting us know things have improved and I wish you all of the best for the near and far future.
About the truth, I also found it to be uncomfortable for those who dwell with lies and the attacks on those who seek or try to live by it are vicious and insulting to say the least. More often than not, my response to those who recommend that I lie is "I tell the truth and live by it as much as I can. At the end of the day, I can stare into my own eyes in the mirror when I shave without feeling the urge to slit my own throat" even though the consequences have been extremely bitter and costly.
mark henry smith Added Mar 28, 2017 - 4:38pm
Ah, yes. The I that we now are told is not truth. But being a writer, I know it is. Much more truthful than the made-up we, or he of so many stories where people are afraid to take responsibility for their beliefs.
Tom, that is why I admire you. I don't care what it is that you have to say, whether I agree or disagree, I think it takes great courage to own those views and espouse them. I recommend you read Studs Terkel's book, The American Dream, Lost and Found, that I'm reading now. It's an interesting mélange of views of what America and success mean. It appears from my brief reading, that you could interpret everyone's description of their life as a therapy session, but personally, I don't believe in the value of therapy. I believe in the value of hard work and perseverance, and rather than lay on a couch and pour out your feelings to some "expert" you'd be better served to get off your ass and clean the toilet.  
George, I know no one's perfect. I've made terrible mistakes in my life out of envy, anger, resentment, the whole list. I've lied to people to get away from the consequences of my actions, but I never doubted for one minute that at some point I'd have to make a public apology and try to make amends. I've been doing that for so long, I'm having problems finding things to make amends for. But I haven't had any problems finding people to forgive for their transgressions.  
Truth is that we really don't know the ramifications of our actions. Good can turn bad, bad can turn good. The only guide we have really is to not treat people as you would not want to be treated by them and this is where truth becomes so important. I know there are people out there who never want me telling true stories about things they've done, because they've never resolved themselves of their behavior. That means they're still in it in some way. To my way of thinking, that must be a terrible way to live, always fearing that you'll be found out. So I look at the telling of these stories as the only hope for them, while they look at it as betrayal.
And yes, there is some cruelty in that, but who ever said the truth isn't cruel? I didn't. I've been severely beaten by the truth in my life, but I know all we can do for ourselves is take a lickin' and keep on tickin'.
Jen, you are a person whose spirit I revel in. I'm not gonna lie to you, I don't always agree with what you say. I don't trust the Russians, but fortunately for me, I don't have to.
So there is this girl who's obviously very interested in getting together with me, but she's twenty-two, has a boyfriend, but still wants to go out. What should I do? She's knows I'm almost sixty, yeah a freakin' bizarro sixty, I'm just now able to grow a real beard, have to shave every day, am in the shape of a twenty year old, so when I tell her that the kids at the club where I play golf have started calling me "Old Man," she gets offended and says, "You're not an old man. Not at all."
I'll take her out and see how things evolve.
Mircea, I love you. I would love to meet you one day and indulge in a great meal with great wine and just talk. I have no bitterness about what's been done to me. I did, because as I was been screwed, these people kept saying, "We're this because we love you."
It most hideous lie, and they would go around to anyone they met who was mutual acquaintance and say the most repulsive things about me. Did I want them to suffer? Fuck yeah!
But I had more immediate concerns, such as finding places to sleep, keeping my bike working, rebuilding all of the various gadgets that allow me to function. And in just dealing with my immediate reality, one day I woke up and discovered how beautiful this world is and how desperately I didn't want to lose that and how everyday that people lived mired in anger and self-pity was another of beauty lost.
Beauty breeds beauty. Hate breeds hate. Ignorance breeds ignorance. Truth breeds truth.
Love to you all, and peace.          
Clifton Middleton Added Mar 29, 2017 - 9:18am
When you write, I believe in God, what do you mean by the Word God ..... ? Do you believe in Me ?
Paul Robbins Added Mar 29, 2017 - 10:37am
Mark Henry,  You may want to get a hold of a book titled "Freedom and Capitalism "written by John W. Robbins.  The book gives more insight than its title; an insight of truth and understanding.
michael d zitterman Added Mar 29, 2017 - 1:16pm
Is truth always good?
michael d zitterman Added Mar 29, 2017 - 1:21pm
Truth?  You want truth?
Do we really want truth?
Does the following offer anything about "truth"?
Assuming it is a correct assessment that the 2016 election was hacked by the Russians, our government must take severe and significant actions.
The extraordinary and massive dangers of exposing truth to our citizens is in direct opposition to our politics.
Truth to a politician is like Kryptonite is to Superman.
Just the thought of truth should make our citizens shudder with anxiety and fear. 
Exposing us to truth will, sadly and unfortunately, handicap our political process. 
How could the politicians tell us what they believe we want to hear, regardless of the concept of truth? 
The economic damage to the media might be insurmountable, e.g., fewer adds to inundate and saturate us with misleading information.
The horrors of the damage that would be done to political punditry, including the entertainment value, is staggering.
Oh! The inhumanity!
Find your safe shelter, remain in place, and keep your IPhones charged, until you are notified that this cloud of truth has dissipated.

God (whatever one conceives him, her, or it to be) and Congress, save us from the damaging fallout from ubiquitous and pervasive truth.
Should the assumption be validated, the nuking of Moscow should be on the table.
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Mar 29, 2017 - 1:56pm
I believe that Michael Z is being sarcastic Tom. 
michael d zitterman Added Mar 29, 2017 - 2:38pm
What was the subject matter of the satire?
Safe shelter?
Frank DeFelice Added Mar 29, 2017 - 6:11pm
I spent my life close to God, from the time I was a kid, to wanting to become a preacher, to meditation and being a Buddhist. Then it became clear to me these were all ego trips. I realized I had to do nothing, as the Self would do it all. I gave up meditation, and most spiritual reading. I have peace of mind. 
Ric Wells Added Mar 30, 2017 - 7:48pm
Mark off topic. If you need rx discount card look into Single Care. I found it by googling coupon for xalatan. Good fir up to 75% at Walmart. Thought I would share. Ric.
Minister Peaceful Poet Added Mar 31, 2017 - 3:31am
In proverbs it says that the poor are often full of wisdom while the rich are fools.  Confucius was confused, he could not understand how the rulers of our land were often the most unqualified to rule.  This is Satan's world and we're in it.  It's like a wash machine, it makes us cleaner while others become more guilty. Glad you got yourself a little home, sounds like you really earned it. 
mark henry smith Added Mar 31, 2017 - 3:58pm
Hey all, I had some glitch that wouldn't allow me to log on to WriterBeat, but I found a way. Perseverance wins again!
So first, is Jeffry Gilbert really Jeff Foxworthy? What a moron. If I'm the poster child for insanity, what's Trump? A walking barker for insanity?
Okay, that was taken from a comment on Jeff Jackson's post about the crazy world we live in. Back to this post about truth.
Truth. I was poisoned last night, food poisoning, and I thought I was gonna die, but it all came out. The truth is I don't think you need details, and I'm feeling absolutely splendid today. It's rainy and I just slept in in my lovely little apartment, that is only 25 feet by 15 feet after measuring. As my ex said about my spatial sense, he sees big.
Dominic, all of what you say is true. There were many people who saw this coming, 9/11, and reported on it, but their warnings were ignored. Same with credit default swaps and the meltdown of 2007. Knowing these things will happen, putting them in place, gives the actors tremendous power, and we have put a system in place that makes them immune from prosecution, so why the fuck not? Why not use what you have to screw anybody you can when they can't screw you? Look at Israel. Here's this ally who recruits spies against us. Do we cut their aid? Do we tell them to go fuck themselves? No. We invite them here to fuck us.  
That should be the motto of America. Why the fuck not? We go around the world kicking the shit out of everybody we meet while we act like the golden child. Let's not forget how young we are in national terms. Let's not forget what made this nation. We kicked the shit out of the people who lived here. We sent nice people out to talk to them, explain to them how we were going to take care of them, and bring our all-mighty God to them, then we just kicked the shit out of them. That's what we do everywhere. We're the biggest bull shitters in the world. Democracy? That's a laugh. We're like Disney making cartoons in bright colors, with idyllic messages to hide children from life's reality.
Give kids The Grimm fairytales. The unedited version. The reality of lust, greed, theft, that good people don't always win, but only win if they're smart enough to figure out the truth.
I saw 9/11 on the tube as the anchors were calling it an accident. I said to the woman I was watching it with, "That's no accident. They were aiming." She didn't believe me until the second one hit. I didn't think it was the end of the world, as some people did. I just thought it was the Jews flying those planes, not Saudis.
It didn't seem wrong to just keep on truckin' until the whole thing got sorted out, because you never know. Sometimes investigations do get it right, like The Nuremburg trials. (HAH). But when we went to war against Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, which any reasonable person could deduce if they looked at the evidence, I realized the fix was in and I abandoned any support for our leadership. It is all corrupt at the top. All bought by the Israelis and powerful Jewish interests to keep us doing their bidding.
I am not anti-Semitic. I like the Jews. I just don't like Israel and what our involvement with that little, shit nation has done to the US.           
George N Romey Added Mar 31, 2017 - 4:24pm
Mark there is two United States.  There is the one part of ordinary people trying to live their lives doing the best they can do and trying to do right by others. Those are the ones that have gotten "f'd" by the elites, the government and a immoral financial system.
There is part two.  Some born rich, educated and supposedly cultured. Their cousins are the uneducated gang bangers living in ghettos.  Both are intent on shafting and whenever possible killing those around them for personal gain.  The difference between a Lloyd Blankfein or a Jamie Dimon and someone in the hood running a gang is negligible.  The difference is the gang banger only gets to terrorize a neighborhood, Blankfein and Dimon (and others like them) an entire globe.
I no longer respect the system.  Donald Trump will fall on his face because he is outmatched.  None of his initiatives will see the light of day.  Eventually, and likely in the next year, the system will again crash.  Americans will be told again that the system must be saved and we can't punish anymore lest we destroy the system in doing so.  Americans might bend over and take it again.  Maybe next time they revolt.  Revolutions are hard to predict.  I doubt the British Empire took the ragtag colonists very seriously at the time.  Elites are the last to know because the party is too good.
mark henry smith Added Mar 31, 2017 - 4:49pm
Dominic, we are all homeless, in the sense that this all can be taken from us. We are all at home when we find within ourselves the will to be truth talkers.
Clifton, I don't know you well enough to believe in you. See that's what truth is. It's not a casual acquaintance, a cocktail hour conversation. It's immersion and we, the modern we, don't do immersion very well. We want our facts the way we want our fucks, fast and easy with no lingering questions, just that after glow of having found something useful to our immediate position.
Paul, I'll give it a go. I'm always looking for fresh material to deconstruct.
Mr. Zitterman. Yes, truth is always good, considering the alternative. That people don't want the truth is problematic to many, like me. Look, we have a government, lots of governments, lots of people in government, who don't think government is the answer. The work these people do is never to make government the answer, but to ensure that it's the problem. This is absolute madness. Fiscal conservatives from Reagan to Ryan, enter politics with a pledge to balance budgets and make government more efficient, then they balloon budgets and make government inept. When asked why, do they take responsibility? No. They blame the government. Shit people, they are the government. They're blaming themselves, but calling it something else and people accept that. Scary. Way more scary than saying that nuking Moscow isn't off the table. With Trump the reality is that there is no table for anything to be off of. He's the epitome of a bull shit, mother-fucker, real-estate developer, and I say more power to 'em, because he's gonna mess us up so bad people will have to start opening their eyes to reality. Blood will flow in the streets or at least people will wonder where their retirement savings went as they settle for McDonald's after eating at Le Bec Fin.
Tom, just like National Socialism, Communism was given a place by powerful forces that couldn't understand what their leadership meant for the world, just like here and the Tea Party. There are now some people talking about a return to anarchy, that it would be better for us. Obviously these are people who have never known anarchy, just as those who supported Communism at the outset had never known Communism.
Ignorance isn't bliss. It's just the dry stage before you get pissed on.
Frank, I think that is the key to peace, to unclutter the mind from the constant agitation of confrontational sources. A good life is not complicated. It is based on respect. We start by respecting ourselves, being truthful with ourselves, and work out from there. We arrive at enlightenment not when we've read all the "right" books and been trained to think in all the "right" ways, but when we can take our sense of respect into all areas of our lives, into all encounters with humanity and nature, can see things not for as we wish them to be, but as they are and behave accordingly. Love to you.
Ric, I take no drugs except those that are prescribed to me by serendipity. Okay, so last week I bought a pack of smokes, Camel nons. I just couldn't find anyone to bum one from and most other cigarettes taste like crap. I smoke three-to-five a day and stop regularly. Truthfully, quitting is easy. I've done it a thousand times. But I prefer pot, most times, in small doses.
Bug, my love, kiss me you fool.
MPP, I don't think the rich are any more foolish than the poor, it's just that they have so many more choices for their foolishness. If I could indulge all of my whims, had been able to do so from the time I was a small child, could you imagine the damage I would have done? That's the rich who have known nothing else, unwilling to witness the damage they have done. Hey, everybody likes a winner, even a bad one who promises to share the winnings, even if the winnings are an illusion.
How much of this thing we call modern existence isn't an illusion? 
Jeff Michka Added Apr 24, 2017 - 2:00pm
Frank D notes: I have peace of mind.  - Then you have a real prize, Frank. Few can have that at any point while above ground.

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