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Pedestal of deception....

Updated on January 17, 2011

It starts at some point in your life, the slow matchstick by matchstick construction of your personal pedestal, the one you aspire to climb upon, which elevates you above the crowd of ordinary folk and let's them see you shine.

Maybe you were the class bully, set upon your course by a father who wanted you to be tough, and goaded you into fighting, making you be a brave boy, maybe even hitting you to stop you being afraid of hurting?

On that first day at school, you knew you needed to pick a fight with the biggest kid in your class, to show them who was boss. You would have taken that ethos with you for your first jail term also.

But deep inside, in that place where we don't allow anyone, even ourselves, to look.... we would see a small terrified human who knows just how weak they are.

Right now, whether you are king of all you survey, or sitting in the gutter powerless to do anything (but realistically you will not be reading this if you are in the gutter) you still will not allow yourself to go 'there' to that inner place where you are shown for what we actually are.

The BIG problem, the REALLY BIG problem is that we cannot fool ourselves, maybe the more accomplished scam artist can persuade themselves that their inner doubts are irrelevant, maybe they will use booze or drugs to mask those doubts, regain their bravado, or perhaps their next successful manipulation of facts, accepted by some willing believer, will gather them confidence that the world cannot see through their deceptions.

We start life as a clean slate, but one surrounded by influences, good and bad, that's called environmental circumstances in today's psycho babble world, but whatever you call it, it shapes our behavious and learning patterns.

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When you are 'born' into a society, you will be subjected to their understanding of things, your mind will be shaped by their actions and protestations.

As you pass through education, more layers of veneer will be added to your persona, entering the commercial world will divert you into more charades and start you into your own manipulative activities, as you jostle for position in life.

Marriage and children, membership of the Masons or Golf Club, all these things shape you into the image you think you want to be.

It normally takes a major life change or disaster to make someone stop still and take stock, most folk do not get those, or simply go numb minded until life picks them up again, or they sink into oblivion, too helpless and defeated to climb out themselves.

Those who can accept change, will use that event as a time-out to reflect on who they are, and what they would wish to be, or think they should have been.

Defusing bombs is a dangerous business, one wrong move and they can explode with full consequence to those in proximity, to greater or lesser degrees.

But that's what we all need to do if we are to reach that inner peace that passes all understanding, and will withstand the fiery darts and arrows of our enemy to stand in liberty and peace.

I lived forty years believing I was someone else, who retrospectively I would not want to know, now I have discovered who I am, and who I was supposed to be, who I am entitled to be.

I was born into a English working class family, ostensibly Anglicans, but in effect secular. My schooling was designed by the state to produce pen pushers or button pushers, but my family had been self employed chimney sweeps for three generations, so I saw no desire to be either a pen or button pusher.

My father was exposed to the worse things that a man can experience in Burma, during 'his war' and was embittered, unemotional, closed off and racist, taking to his grave the survivors guilt that he lived with.

My mother was a product of her times, working as a factory cleaner and doing menial jobs, never assured of her worth despite her brief elevation during 'her war' to someone working in an aircraft factory, with responsibility.

When `'their war' ended, they both spent the rest of their lives back in the servitude that our society had enforced upon them was their role in society to carry out.

I therefore had little religious indoctrination from them, I was sent to Sunday School, but mainly to allow them the traditional 'time together' on Sunday mornings, and I effectively left school at 13, once I realised that they had nothing I wanted to use.

I was greatly influenced by my Jewish youth club leader, and almost lived in her house from 13 -18 years of age, ending up with a very Jewish understanding of life, which has never totally left me.

Then I met and lived with a nice middle class ex public school girl for 16 years, who influenced me to 'better myself' to the degree that by age 22, I was a perfect hologram of what I would have been, had I also been public school educated.

By thirty five I was a successful businessman with aspirations and invitations to become a politician..... I thank God that it never happened, for at that point life threw me one of those major disruptions that change everything for ever.

The next five years were spent in dissolute pursuit of oblivion, my 'suicide by pleasure' period, when I explored everything that had previously be ignored, with a passion that made me the happiest sinner in history.

I took that time to look inward eventually, when the money and 'pleasure' had expired.... and found that I no longer liked my hedonistic self assured, ego inflated self.

The introspection eventually led to a rather dramatic encounter with God, which then started a complete review of what I had previously held to be true, in search of what I could now verify, from experience and logic, to be truth.

I still continue searching.

There is so much truth out there, hidden amongst the deceptions and mythology, so much that I doubt any man could truthfully proclaim that they held all truth, that they were 100% certain of their understanding.

But perhaps the biggest truth to face up to is who you really are, or could be, or should be?

Because we have lived in our veneered exteriors for all our lives, maybe changing the lacquer finish or colour as we progress on life's highway, but primarily wearing the same inflicted baggage that society and our peers have given us, we are afraid to find out who we are, frightened to expose the true self in opposition to our created ideals.

That is a sorry state, and our society will never break free of self delusion until we individually undertake that journey.

Maybe that journey is not required for most folk, perhaps the vast majority of folk will only find out their own truth once they die and stand in eternity looking backwards.

It has always been clear to me that it is ONLY by the majority's tactic observance of societies norms and surrender to societies requirements, that a minority of people like myself have been able to lead extraordinary lives with little constraint upon them.

It's the 9-5 office and factory drone that supports my ability to escape tradition and servitude, and I am thankful to them, but would still rather they emerged from their chrysalis and flew free as a butterfly, for however brief that liberty would be.

But again I say butterfly, however there are in nature more moths than butterfly's, and always with flames to be drawn to.

Where am I going with this hub?

Frankly, I am unsure of that, maybe it's my self confession about what a useless member of your society I am or have become, perhaps it to expunge the guilt that always having been free can give one, or hopefully it's to trigger some introspection in someone reading, which may enable them to break their mould and reform their life to fulfil what they could, should or may have been.

If I find out what I started to seek when I first wrote this, I'll let you know.

Are you doing what you wanted to do with your life?

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    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Thank you Dr.Wendy, it means a lot when folk can get something from what we do.

      In one of my hubs (Pictograms from God I think) I mention that God told me He had spent the first seven years filling me up, and the next seven years emptying me out, and I was to spend the next seven years pouring out.

      I can receive that!

      Thanks again,


    • Dr. Wendy profile image

      Dr. Wendy 

      10 years ago from Kentucky

      Wow. You have a gift with words. You share yourself and give the reader so much to think about in regard to his or her own life, walking away forever changed.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Thanks Allen,

      God is good to bless us with such peace, which may be stretched at times, but always returns and continues to surpass anything the world can offer.

      That is the thing, once you have experienced the real thing, there can be no substitute.

    • A M Werner profile image

      Allen Werner 

      10 years ago from West Allis

      John, what a perfectly penned testimony that should prick everyone's heart and brain. I think we all start out in life thinking we can be the star, the athlete, the president, something great and acceptable - and then the walls start being imposed on us by the people and experiences we have and our life takes the shape and form others think it should be, and often times we are helpless to prevent it - if we are conscious of it at all. And then, like you said, a life changing event can shake you to your core and assist you in discovering the real you beneath the strata's of time. I never wanted to be the 9-5 drone, and thank the Lord I am not, but it has come with a financial price - but I wouldn't trade my life for anything now. I'm happily married and have the best children in the world. I feel the arms of the Lord around me every day, and despite the turmoil in the world, I feel fearless. I can't imagine my life being any other way now - this all seems too perfect. Allen Peace

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Dusty, you never cease to amaze me! and I always enjoy your commentary, thank you my friend and brother!

      Lets pray we don't need the emergency rations!


    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      10 years ago from Arizona

      Hi John,

      I answered no to the first, in relevance to what I thought I would be doing with my life and spent 25 years working at the get rich scheme buying investment properties, starting and funding businesses working 16 hours a day 7 days a week keeping up with those things I had risked all my time and money on. Then getting the feeling it was all vain driven and if I sold out I could be a mindless drone making someone else rich, I sold the businesses and the housing market balloon in California burst and my holdings of property were sold and I came away with a fair amount of cash despite the burst and for some reason beyond my imagination paid this land off paid all the tax on the rest and set up a trust fund. I rented a 33 ft.trailer in Costa Mesa California and it was a cheap 550 bucks a month for a very nice "Airstream" and it had the things I needed. Shower, small kitchen and king-size bed, a TV and comfortable seating. I had a metal building out side to park my motor cycle in and secure it in a good neighborhood. A basic, eat, sleep go to work come home, shower, eat watch the news and sleep go to work in the endless circle that seemed to be the life of everyone I knew. While the self-employment game was freer to do and gave a sense of accomplishment the time and worries were two fold. Having sold out and returned to flying commercial helicopters, I made my rent in one day, and started stuffing the excess into the trust, over 5K a month plus a good return from my cycle business that had two branches, one in Santa Ana and one in Phoenix AZ. My days off were spent checking the books of each. I flew the helicopter to Phoenix to keep up with it, cutting travel time from 8 hours to about 3 and a half but double the amount in fuel. Life was just a 7 day job and I wanted to quit, the cash in the trust lost all worth to me, the joy I once had to build and ride fast cycles was gone it had turned to a chore. You would think the flying would be fun, but it came down to a taxi cab job of delivering and picking up people who were rich enough to pay the company to be flown from the airport to their final destination like the roof top of Capital Records or Catalina Island for a buffalo burger or steak for lunch. I guess you'd call it a life of Ecclesiastes. It came down to quitting being suicide or just withdrawing from all the humdrum things that I came to loath. I started planning when I realized I had 3 huge solar panels in storage and a couple hundred acres in the desert and if I sold out the cycle shop and bought this trailer and drug it to Arizona and flew out of Sky Harbor airport I could get a step closer to quitting. The rest is history, I built an underground home and fenced it down the property lines and survived a major heart attack, loosing my pilot license then selling the interest I had in the helicopter the project of my existence was ordained by figuring the main cost a setting it aside then dividing the rest by 25years then 52 weeks I was able to pay myself $750.00 a month and the disability rating from the Marine Corps pushed it up to $1,200 and at that time I needed all of it. I've been blessed with ways to live and eat that now my needs leave extra for me to give things or cash to those in need. I never thought or planned this blissful retirement at 40 years old, just about 21 years ago, making side money to add to my trust extending my payments another 5 years, but the situation is one that if the market crashes and I get zero cents on my dollars from the trust, I'll have no worries as the roof over my head is paid for and the food storage is marked in 5 gallon buckets with sealed Mylar bag that were treated with Diatomaceous Earth and oxygen removers that after the air is squeezed out and the Mylar bags are Ironed shut the air remover sucks the bag tightly around grain of wheat and corn, sugar, salt, beans, rice, coffee beans, buckets of spice bottles and much more stuff I've canned at the Mormon church cannery where every one can go and use their equipment to can #10 cans and mylar bags in buckets, if you look forward you can order supplies from them at prices to match or beat anyone elses, I forgot to add powdered milk, butter, cheese and the works with an expiration date of 2030. So there is food and bedding for 13 people if we go into another great depression or civil war.

      So given all that I'm doing what I want and answered #2 with a solid yes to being satisfied with my job of keeping a human oasis in the midst of a world that in my opinion is going to fall apart and no one will be turned away but those who would rob the oasis for themselves, that is what the armory is for, to hold good people through the worst, possibly the 3 month times I think is called out in the Bible,

      Peace dusty

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Thanks to all of you for reading and commenting, it's been a busy week, and a busy weekend, yesterday I was exhausted and just stayed in bed! - It's good to see your comments.



    • heart4theword profile image


      10 years ago from hub

      Yes, breaking free of self-delusion! Finding who we are, accepting and then free to reflect..with joy who we are:) Started the journey...yet have not reached, my destination yet:) Another Great Write aguasilver, love reading your writings!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      10 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I like you, am still searching for thuth.I know God.He knows me,but there is still much to learn.Thank you

    • Woman Of Courage profile image

      Woman Of Courage 

      10 years ago

      Brother John, I enjoyed reading this excellent hub. When I accepted Jesus as my personal savior, God revealed to me who I was. My life has never been the same. I will vote you up!

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 

      10 years ago from Australia

      Your articulate and wonderfully honest hub reminds me of a passage in scripture; James 1:2-4

      ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.’

      The road to maturity is one not easily travelled, but the only road ultimately worth travelling. Great hub, voted up.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      10 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Looking back, I find that I never really knew who I was until I personally met Jesus Christ. He's had so,me reshaping to do for sure, but e is the only One that can truly give meaning to life.

    • HippieGal profile image


      10 years ago from Texas

      Ahhh, my new friend. I believe I was supposed to find you. Well done! So much truth to this hub. Thank you. ;)

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      10 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Brother John; Thank goodnes God has a sharp chizel and a big hammer to chip away at my veneer to expose the true me. I could not do it by myself.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      10 years ago

      Beautiful! Awesomely beautiful! "There is so much truth out there, hidden amongst the deceptions and mythology, so much that I doubt any man could truthfully proclaim that they held all truth, that they were 100% certain of their understanding." Yep- be very careful of those without any doubts. God bless!

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      I'm about to start my weekly routine, and time is again short, thank you all for your comments, when I have time I may answer individually, but it's good that my brothers and sisters seem to agree with my ramblings!

    • Enlydia Listener profile image

      Enlydia Listener 

      10 years ago from trailer in the country

      I want to use the word "brilliant" for this hub, but it sounds wrong...let's just say, this made me smile and have some tears in my eyes...I needed to read this today....Even though I am "saved", I have been battling some intense emotional issues lately and was just crying out to Jesus today...what you wrote stirred something in me...maybe a reminder. thankyou for writing it...I liked the way you ended it...(sort of like "Choose your own advneture" where the reader has to figure out the ending)

    • profile image

      Brenda Durham 

      10 years ago

      Very thought-provoking hub, aguasilver; I'm glad it was on the hub-feed! Voted it UP; you rock as usual.

      Ah....all I can seem to say right now is....every time I start wondering who I am, I come up against a brick wall, and then I believe God tells me to keep focus on who HE is and trust that He will use this otherwise useless piece of clay....

    • msorensson profile image


      10 years ago

      What a beautiful hub. Thank you for sharing, aquasilver.

      Indeed what you wrote is correct. We are indoctrinated.

      ..but that word goes long before this lifetime...

    • SomewayOuttaHere profile image


      10 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

      ...thought provoking...excellent....when i look back i figure i've transformed a couple of times...(positive aspects of myself).....and i'm not done...there's more to come...more to be own truth...and ya, i believe i've taken stock of my life...i was forced came crashing down...i had to stop and really take a look around...i picked up most of the pieces...some pieces will lie at my feet forever..i figure those pieces are meant to stay with me, forcing me to always and calmly look all around me...with different eyes now...I''ve finally realized those pieces are coming along for the ride whether i like it or not...keeps me real i figure and really in touch with myself and who i am in my heart and soul... this hub a couple of times AS...excellent!

    • Unchained Grace profile image

      Unchained Grace 

      10 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Sometimes, our own private Hell represents a time in our lives when we were someody else. Somebody we feel a serious need to be seperate from. So, that 'other' person get buried in our psyche somewhere. A deep dark place we keep on lockdown or try to. Then, one day, someone inadvertently finds the key and the dragon comes flying out of that cave we thought was so secure.

    • aguasilver profile imageAUTHOR

      John Harper 

      10 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Thank you both, W.E and Martie, I seem to be entering a period when every hub I am led to write looks like THE hub that will bring me down! But equally I am more than ever aware that I need to expose myself and be transparent, and leve it to my peers to adjudge whether I am veering of course or reaching a new plateau!

      Your affirmation is valuable to me, and I thank you for your candour.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      10 years ago from South Africa

      aquasilver, this is heart-touching hub. It is truly one of the most painful experiences – searching for your true self. Reviewing your past…. passing your ego, passing your self-image – it is like fighting your way through a dense forest, and this journey does not take a day, but many months and even years before you reach the you you have lost somewhere long ago. We don’t know the real meaning of ‘love your fellowman as you love yourself’ before we have discovered our selves in that cage built by society, norms, interpretations of the truth, perceptions, et cetera. Keep on writing… writing is the axe you need to clear the path ahead of you. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

    • profile image

      Website Examiner 

      10 years ago

      Exceptionally well-written and thoughtful, fascinating. I like the directness and candor of this piece.


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