“Concede to the fact that there is no truth.” JSM
This installment may be polarizing to some and for that, I’ll apologize upfront. In my introductory chapter I made it a point to say, ‘I have no desire to write an opinion piece,’ and that statement still holds true.
I do have my opinions, feelings and ideas but to the great collective it’s only one person’s opinions, feelings and ideas. My actual unorthodox opinion is largely irrelevant to the bigger picture. No, I’m not selling myself and my opinions short, even though it may appear as such. To my personal circle and some smaller groups around me, my opinion may have some merit, but to the overwhelming size of the grand collective it’s only a drop of water in a full, and overflowing, fifty gallon barrel.
Hey, that’s cool. Most opinion related conversations end up heated, boiling with debate and spilling over into anger anyway, so what’s really the point? Some dialogue is smooth, transitional, and flows openly between two or more, but the ones that don’t… can get ugly, or some folks offended. It’s best for me to sometimes keep my opinion to myself unless I’m around the right people.
Don’t get me wrong. I love a good conversation, even a fun debate, but I’ve seen the aftermath of opinions gone bad, and I like to avoid it. Another reason why I try and ignore social media. It’s horrible out there.
In respect to that, I’ll change the word from opinion to thought.
Long ago, I learned two lessons. 1) Internet trolls exist and they pounce on opinions like jackals on fresh meat, making every attempt to make the opinionated feel stupid and 2) Never tell a person “not” to feel a certain way, or think differently.
If someone’s crying, needs consoling, or spills the beans on what they’re thinking and feeling inside, it’s unwise to say in reply, “Ohhhhh. You shouldn’t feel like that. No, don’t feel like that. Oh… come on, I wish you didn’t feel that way. Please don’t think like that.”
Not the best method of “helping” someone. I figured that one out on my own, the hard way.
Opinions can be debated. My thoughts, however, are my own and no one can interfere with that.
Opinions are typically spoken openly. Thoughts are more reserved and usually kept inside.
In the final week of the second month my thoughts veered off in a different direction and I was pleased for a time. Feeling good. Almost refreshed. The Island was beginning to feel more like home. Some art hung on the walls, my trinkets found new corners on shelves and end tables and my work station was fully operational. I made my bed each day, did my laundry, shaved my scraggly face often and was back to eating at regular intervals. I wasn’t focusing on the areas of life that angered me anymore. In fact, the phrase, “I was totally over it” is applicable. Still healing, but the infection had subsided.
The routine was established, I had a new hobby (albeit bizarre to some), and my attention was elsewhere. Facets of life still pissed me off at random intervals and I’d shut down as a result, but once I reconnected with my new interests, and my attention was diverted back again, all that anger floated away. I found a new and different coping mechanism.
For the longest time I saw the internet as primarily a tool to make life increasingly easier, as opposed to using it for anything else: My online billing, looking up something on Wiki when a quick answer was needed, helping a kiddo with homework, ordering take out.
In the old life, my online usage (and computer use for that matter) was mostly restricted to work. Swimming in the vast ocean of the internet wasn’t something I was remotely interested in or had opportunities to engage in. At the time, I averaged 68-74 hours a week at work, and the rest of the time was child care, minimal social interactions and sleeping. Not a lot of time to play in the water.
Free time was household chores, mandatory miscellaneous necessities, running errands, and sitting in front of the TV. I did have one hobby though.
Sometimes I could engage for an hour, sometimes only a few minutes, but regardless of the time spent, it was “mine”.
When in the house, where I once paid a mortgage, I had an obsession. The TV show, LOST. Unsure if you’ve seen it or not, but despite the negative critiques on the final season, it still ranks in the top five of my favorite television shows of all time.
There was something about it that resonated with me. The mythology, the action, the acting, the creativity, the puzzles, the mysterious and unanswered questions, the religious components, the theories, the clues, character interactions, fun science concepts, dream interpretations, and the ludicrous; all blending together to form something unique. It was a show that demanded discussion. I’ve watched it beginning to end four times and could watch it again with the same wide eyed wonder.
It seemed to have a perfect amalgamation of everything that was interesting to me, and my mind ached while waiting for the next episode.
Therefore, I joined a forum that only discusses LOST. Something to do during the down time. Hundreds of members with different ideas; brainstorming activities on where a specific story line was leading, what a piece of art hanging on the wall represented in “real life,” why characters were named as they were, and random fun dialogue. I loved that world. I was able to be myself and felt well received by the senior members and new comers alike. Nothing was too outlandish and over the top. I occupied that online world for five years, everyday. It was my only forum, and ordinarily the only time I was online. Until I met Facebook.
Our favorite discussion(s) centered on “what if” possibilities.
“We know what they’re showing us, but what if…?”
“Check it out. When they revealed “this clue” could it not mean the opposite? We’ve seen duality in the past.”
“They never hinted at it.”
“Yeah, but what if?”
It may mean nothing to anyone outside that world, but we enjoyed the “what if” contemplatives almost as much as the show itself. Our minds were constantly working off each other and playing with crazy, yet doable concepts.
Then… it ended, and I was sad.
Almost lost (pun intended).
We continued to check in with each other now and then, but life got in the way and everything fizzled out. At least for me. They may still be chatting up a storm in there, but it’s been years since I’ve said hello.
Flashing back to the end of the Secrets chapter, I mentioned wanting to figure out what made the dark side of life so alluring. Researching evil if you will.
“I thought for a long time on what it was I wanted to learn. You have the power of the world sitting under your fingertips. Go back through memory, pick something you’ve always wanted to understand but never got around to it.
So I did.
And I haven’t stopped.”
I needed a foundation. Something that always interested me and generated fascination. A grounding point. I shrugged my shoulders and whispered, “why not? it’s as good a place to start as any,” and fired up the computer.
I picked a character from LOST, and that was my starting point. We always stick with the devil we know.
From there, I was all over the web. One link led me to another, to another and another and off on a tangent elsewhere. The topics I discovered along the way urged me to explore beyond, behind and everywhere in between. I went back through time, hitting everything I could, and by the end of the first session I was reading translated Egyptian Hieroglyphs, learning the benefits of decalcifying the Pineal Gland, and taking a virtual tour of Mesoamerica.
I became a sponge. I started bookmarking sites and opened up a new favorites folder and dumped everything I could into it. I was saving articles and journal entries and scribbling notes of my findings. No order to my chaos. Only chaos.
I was rereading scripture verses, glancing over ancient Greek philosophies, and revisiting those once closed up areas I’ve always wanted to reopen and delve in deep, headfirst.
During my “research phase” I spent a moment in time studying Mystery Schools and Mystery Religions. If only to briefly see that other side of the fence. I found the research interesting, but I didn’t stay too long.
Online Archeology, is what I named the hobby. I’m by no means an expert in the subject, far from it, but I enjoy(ed) it.
I realized something during that phase. How much I’d missed out on and what this world has to offer for knowledge, and in order to fully start over and be at peace I felt and thought about truth being subjective.
Her truth, my truth, his truth, their truth, everyone’s truth… is different.
As the night moved on and I pondered on all my weird and fun findings, I came to a decision. In actuality it was more akin to a crooked branch of self recognition. I contemplated the concept that there is no truth. Just remember, that was then, this is now.
Most of my life has been living the life of someone else, for someone else. Up until the second month on the Island, each day of my living existence had been for the benefit of other people’s lifestyles and existence. Not mine. I have primarily always existed in a different existence.
The things I know, have always been told to me by someone else. Teacher, parent, friend(s), significant other, those in authoritative positions. All my knowledge gained was someone else’s truth being passed on to another.
In fact, I had such a difficult time with it moving forward, I had a conversation with Professor Jim, “Professor, I use this as an example. Say you tell your kids not to eat the cookies while you’re in the shower, but you never counted the cookies in the first place. So you don’t have any facts. Your gut tells you they each snuck a cookie from the jar, cause that’s what kids do, but you can’t prove it. If you ask, they’ll probably lie because they don’t want to get in trouble. But… if they didn’t sneak a cookie, and you ask them, and they say no… ultimately you’ll be forced to believe them either way. Lying is a natural action. Even children can feel comfortable lying.”
“So at this point, what you’re saying is, all we can do is believe and have faith they didn’t. Unless they did steal a cookie and tell the truth.”
“For the most part. There’s no truth from your personal standpoint. Just guesswork and moving on. If you had the facts to begin with, there would be no guessing.”
I reached that point for a stint. I wanted to discover my own truth. Dig up my own facts.
If I couldn’t see it or experience it, was it truly happening? Knowing how easy it is to lie, can anyone or anything be truly believed? Maybe it’s time for a Jere 2.0. A full reboot. Let’s find some truth if it’s possible. Back to basics. Let’s start from the ground up. Let’s compare and contrast and really check some stuff out. The first truth that needs establishing is your personal truth.
I mulled that over for a couple of days. I was forced to establish facts about myself and I decided to figure out what it was I didn’t enjoy, first, and then eliminate them from my reality: Sports, huge crowds, stores, bars and clubs, reality TV, the news. More or less, the antithesis of everything I once was.
OK. now that that’s out of the way, now comes the tough question…
… Who are you?
I have no idea.
In addition to having no clue who I was, I didn’t know how much of an impact the Joe dream would have on me, six days later.
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