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.