I can feel the cracks being exposed in the facade. I can hear the pieces falling to the ground, smashing themselves to pieces in a calamitous cacophony. I can see the reactions even behind the masks of others, and it’s spreading. Like a rampant and contagious disease of the skin, the masks are starting to come apart. The hastily-built edifices and structures are failing, their occupants fleeing to seek familiar and stable ground, while the misguided rally to leaders filling their minds with impossible promises and false hopes. Their folly will crush them beneath the rubble of the ruinous things that they have built and supported with their weight for so long.
I have spent a great deal of time in quite a few places, but here I have felt something different. I have felt the strength building within me, feeling it push against every fiber of my skin and even expose itself through the growth and experiences that I have accumulated. It seems to scare the others, though I know not why. There are a multitude of reasons as to why someone would be sent scurrying away from a font of truth and insight, especially when it goes right for the throat and tears-open the soft under-flesh of the problems to expose the solutions. Like opening a festering wound, insight and truth are like a scalpel and forceps: bearing open the incision to expose the core for repair and healing. Turning one’s attention to the masks and throats of others is often simple, as we are able to pick-out the flaws in others without expending much intellectual capital, but the flaws of others are more often-than-not just dim reflections of the flaws in our own selves. It’s a feat of intellectual and physical contortion to expose one’s throat to oneself and render it as you would render others’: exposed.
But through this process, I have found people to be patient and understanding. These are my fellows– my “tribe”. They themselves are going (or have gone) through the same process, and some heal the wounds better than others. Others, it is readily apparent what kind of personal trauma that they have experienced, while others must expose themselves in the most revealing ways to show out their scars and scabs, but we all recognize each other in our purest form: human animals working to attain the impossible goal of self-understanding and self-mastery. We embrace the pain and inflict it upon ourselves for we know the true cost of avoiding the pain: illusory lives and living behind self-reinforcing masks.
And I feel all of this at the deepest levels of my body, feeling the conflicting emotions and expressions, the crystal-clear knowledge that a lie to others is just another way to lie to myself. Being honest with myself and expanding that truth outward is the most difficult task I have ever embarked upon, and yet it encompasses every moment of my existence at this point in my life. And it requires discipline– oh-so-much discipline. An iron-strong-death-grip on the single thing that matters most in this world: truth.
I walk these streets now seeing some in mid-surgery, others in varying degrees of decay, and yet others still chewing away at the scar-tissue that covers the wounds that they have sustained. I am far from done in my own pursuit of truth, strength, and wisdom, but I am beginning to feel it well-up from deep within. It is enthralling, feeling this strength like the roiling waves of heat off of the blaze of my soul. I only hope that one day others might feel as I do, and that we all might be united in the truths that will smash our shackles and free our spirits from bondage. My strength stalks alongside me, like a wolf on-the-prowl, ever-watchful for signs of falsehood and faltering discipline, and it is my constant companion now in this ride we call “life”. Only now, it chews on what remains of my mask as it falls like the bones of prey.
Feast heartily and with vigor on the remains of your false selves, my friends, or it may be the false self that feeds upon you.