There is neutral truth underlying everything. It isn’t political. It isn’t religious. It isn’t getting paid per word. It’s a thread that holds everything together. It’s impartial. It doesn’t care if people live or die, though it can tell you WHY people live or die. Truth isn’t subjective. It isn’t slave to bias. It isn’t the product of the dark heart of human greed or the wailing of the pine trees during winter storms. How many of us ever know the truth is questionable. I will probably never know ALL THE TRUTH because my ego, no matter how little importance I give it, still intrudes too strongly for me to know all the truth. My sense of self and its attendant fears intrude and misinterpret messages.
There are layers of truth. There’s the knowable truth, the truth we can’t yet comprehend, and the scaffolding of the truth, the skeleton that holds all other truths together. Humans aren’t very well equipped for truth. We’ve built a million pathways to skirt it.
The truth has no agenda, no goal, it simply IS.
If your “truth” is meant to make people behave a certain way, if it’s a call to action that only applies to those who “believe” – then it is not truth at all. If your “truth” is an allegory, a parable, or a metaphor that narrowly moralizes, it isn’t truth. Truth isn’t a moral. It’s clinically impartial to your code of behavior.
I have worked tirelessly my entire life to learn to temper the truth I see into edible bites those around me can digest. Being privy to even small surges and glimpses of it is difficult to contain. It rises up in my chest like effluvium and takes all my self control to suppress. I learned early that letting it loose is unwelcome. It makes me enemies and adversaries.
Truth isn’t an emotion but if you want to apply it meaningfully to your life you have to see it within a human context, and humans are emotional beings. The truth is that people die; the most natural things humans do is get born and then die at some point. I don’t feel attached or emotional about the the fact that humans die, though I know it’s expected of me. I honor the dead sometimes with formal mourning, but I can’t feel sad that people die. I can only salute and honor their passing where I see fit. I have trouble understanding the sorrow women feel with miscarriages. I understand personal loss, I understand missing people I love who are gone, I understand disappointment – but death is not something cheating us but something as natural and normal as life. If death is cheating us then life is a gift we never deserved to have in the first place.
Life and death are impersonal facts. If you’re born, you’re going to die. That’s the fucking truth.
I find that humans love to celebrate the truths that are comfortable and convenient to them but abhor those that cause their lives to be different, their hearts to hurt, and emptiness to thrive.
When I’m gone I hope everyone swears a river of curses at my funeral (for fun because I love swearing or possibly with meaning because I’ve been the sword in the side of their comfort during our acquaintance one too many times) and drinks gallons of beer and then sleeps the dead sleep of teenagers. It’s okay if people who loved me miss me but I’m not that okay with them being angry. I think I can trust my son not to be angry when I die. I think he’ll be sad, he’ll miss me, but I don’t believe he’ll be angry. I hope Philip doesn’t get angry either. Even if I’m murdered.
So this is where my thoughts have led me tonight.
So many aspects of my personality are harsh contradictions. I recognize the decibel of truth but still fumble to apply it meaningfully to my life.
The Psychologist who assessed me (Jay Judine, RIP) said I was “wired differently” and he didn’t see it as a shortcoming so much as something that simply made me see things and experience them differently if I could learn to manage the dark side of being mentally ill. I wonder now if “wired differently” is code for neurologically different?
Jay taught me to approach my mental illness as a state of being rather than a sickness needing fixing. Other people said “you shouldn’t depend on crutches” and he said “crutches are tools and tools help us build a healthy life”. Jay believed I suffered from PTSD but didn’t diagnose me with it, I’m not sure why. It was his opinion that my personality was in the process of fracturing when I was a teen but that I stopped it from happening with a rough form of CBT. It’s not something I ever voiced to anyone outside of him for the longest time. I have a strong sense of self protection. But when he told me that, it felt like truth. Impartial truth. I still feel strongly compartmentalized as a person. I still talk to myself as multiples even as I have always known every part of myself and never lost any fragment. I’m whole, I’ve just got a thick chalk outline around all my parts.
So much of being mentally ill sucks. It’s a dark road, to be sure. But there are gifts that come with it that I wouldn’t trade for all the soul-silence in the world. I can’t quantify it for anyone who doesn’t experience it. My heart is swollen and so clumsy with size I can’t turn it around in narrow spaces. It needs room to grow, to breathe, to trust. I take it out on the midnight sidewalk to look up at the moon and it registers so many stars and feels every infinitesimal prick of precipitation so that it swells fast and explodes.
You want to know the truth in life? I think the only way you get to know the truth is if you’re mentally ill or “wired differently” or if you can listen to and believe those who are. You’ll have to leave your preconceived notions far behind.
Truth is neither cold nor hot.
Truth serves no one but itself.