Pedestal of deception....
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.
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.