Truth and Pretending
Kids are great at truth. However, remember when you’re a little kid how you get together with other
kids and set up a game to terrify yourselves with?
My younger brother and I did it with a toy my
grandfather gave me when I was about 4 years old.
He had called it “The Bunglewazzer”. It was a weird-looking, wind-up, metal bird with red and yellow-striped legs, that made grinding noises as it walked. We would position it near the door of my bedroom pointed our way, wind it up, and then go jump on
my bed and hide under the covers gasping and screaming in (genuine) terror of this nightmarish
monster coming toward us. We were in such a state! We were really scared!
What we were doing was imagining and creating a
scenario but then switching into pretending that the scenario was self-existent and that we were victims
of it, and being thrilled and stimulated by the fear and other emotions arising from our reactions to that scenario. In short, we were purposely deluding ourselves in order to feel intense emotion.
If you go back and look at many events in your life, as I’m doing now, not just childhood fantasy games but adult scenarios too, you find (if you’re honest) that we do this ALL THE TIME. We set ourselves up for emotional situations and then react and get stimulated, thinking we are victims of circumstances, not the creators of our own lives. We are like children, deluding ourselves, making ourselves not responsible for what’s going on. Worse, unlike children, we have conveniently “forgotten” that we do it.
So I ask myself, in my quest for Truth, is my forgetting that I already had it, a self-deluding creation? Was I so deluded that, unlike in the childhood games, I was not even aware that I was intentionally deluding myself? From where I’m standing now, I say: yes. I was deluding myself. I was unconsciously choosing to deny that I held the Truth inside me and knew all I needed to know, and instead I was creating a life of ups and downs, thrills and spills, of which I was the hapless victim or the happy recipient, depending on the tone of the circumstances and whether I’d convinced myself I had any control over the situations or not.
Living a lie
In this setting, even the Quest For Truth is a lie. Most of the things I tried, the places I went, the love affairs, the adventures, the excitement, the mind-altering substances, the spiritual practices, the intellectual pursuits, the poetry, the art, were the fantasy games of one self-deluded and not taking responsibility for expressing my own Truth. In my defence… no, crummy choice of words….. rather, to be fair to myself, everything I have done in my life has been based on a conscious awareness that I was striving, by my ethics, by my actions, by my choices, by my words, by my treatment of myself and others, to the best of my ability, to live and to be Truth, Love, and Service to Humanity. And often messing up and feeling awful and guilty about it. BUT the biggest problem was that the way I went about it, notwithstanding the best I could do, was a product of the materials available, in other words, a society that’s set up to NOT ALLOW anyone to know and be and live their INNER MOST TRUTH. So even most of my apparently good choices, were made in a way that meant they were doomed to produce problems down the track.
The answer: awareness!
Now at least, having become aware of this process, I can check my own agenda as I go, though awareness is always a work in progress. If I see myself running old patterns to spice things up, I can take evasive action!