“If the world is against Truth, then I am against the world.” – St. Athanasius
The Truth is the most real thing to me. I can easily say it is more real to me than this morning’s cereal (a littleharder to say it is more real than this morning’s coffee; it was roasted by monks). I remember an incident with a hypnotist when I was younger, ten or so. I was one of those that he brought on stage. I really wanted to believe in hypnotism, that I could use my imagination to really change my perception (not in so many words, I was ten after all). Maybe even really enter into those worlds written by C.S.Lewis or Brian Jacques. I remember that he asked us to act like musclemen, so I acted. I didn’t confuse it with reality at all, but I didn’t want to let on that I hadn’t been hypnotized so I played along. And ever since I met the Internet and all its assorted knowledge I have looked for self-hypnosis files, but I still have yet to believe that I am a chicken. The Truth is the most real thing to me, even if I try to deceive myself, and since I know that I am deceiving myself, nothing changes.
Which is not to say that I can’t be wrong, or that I can’t do wrong. For a while I believed that it was intrinsic to Christianity to deny Evolution, but I matured out of that nonsense (with a lot of help). When I first saw pornography, to my everlasting shame, I knew what it was and that it was wrong, but I still kept looking. The saint in me wishes to seek out that Truth and get closer; the sinner in me wishes I could close my eyes to it. I wish I could say the saint always wins.
But the Truth is most real, I can’t change it, nor can I see all of it. It is always awful, as the light from the sun is
awful. Fiction and stories serve the same purpose to me as a camera obscura. They allow me to look closer at that awful light. I hate lies, anything that distorts the Truth away from me, awful as it is, does not lessen its burden. Only a deeper understanding has lessened the burden, and further than that it has given me a great joy. And so distortions like quotes out of context, or bald lies meant to deceive strike a nerve with me. Thoughtless idiocy like witchcraft and political correctness which seeks to change the Truth is as effective as changing the sun using a kaleidoscope, and ticks me off the same if not more so. The Truth is awful. It is uncomfortable. But you cannot run away from it, there is no shield that can block it, no facility that can keep it out, even in furthest depths of hell it shines. But if you run towards it, seek it out, it will do something that not even hypnotism can promise, it will transform you into a being that is both more of who you are and also unburdened by its radiance. That is why I stumble towards heaven, “My yoke is easy,” Christ says, “and my burden light.”
>P< God bless,
Joshua Fahey is a Chestertonian who really stumbles. Really, I’m not joshing you, he really stumbles. Oh, and his memory is pretty terrible.