“Truth is reality. That which is false in unreal. The more clearly we see reality—ourselves and the world, the better equipped we will be to deal with both. The less clearly we see reality, the more our minds will be befuddled by falsehood, misperceptions and illusions, and the less able we will be to determine correct courses of action and make wise decisions.” – M. Scott Peck, from “The Road Less Traveled”
Another way of looking at this is that the more clearly we see reality and ourselves, the more sane and mentally healthy we are—and will become.
The less clearly we see reality and ourselves, the less mentally healthy we are, and are becoming.
The truth is not only what will set us free, it’s also what defines us as being sane and healthy. When we’re mentally healthy or getting healthy, we know the truth and we wrestle with it, and we try to do so with more and more integrity and honesty.
But when we’re mentally unhealthy, when we’re neurotic or have a full-blown personality disorder (narcissism, antisocial, borderline—all three closely related and overlapping), we don’t really know the truth any more, we don’t know who we are or how we really feel or what we really ought to do; our lives are caprice, chance, testimonies to fear and impulse and chaos, instead of goodness, Godliness, order, Love, courage and truth.
When we’re mentally unhealthy, we are not interested in truth or in facing it or ourselves, but in avoiding truth at all costs; we’d rather lie and steal and make excuses and believe what we want to believe because we want to believe it and because we’re convinced that it will make us feel better than we are in learning what is actually the case.
In other words, when we are mentally unhealthy or ill, we prefer lies and confusion to truth and clarity.
Mental unhealth is a process of ongoing dedication to deception, falsehood, confusion, and illusion at all costs.
Mental health, on the other hand, is a process of ongoing dedication to truth at all costs.
We don’t spare any expenses, in fact we take on all costs, we give up our comfort, we foresake it and our comfort zone, we accept loneliness, becoming different, strange, isolated, unpopular. For often these things are the prices we have to pay for following our conscience.
Being firmly dedicated to truth is key to creating a virtuous upward cycle in our lives; being unfirmly dedicated to truth leaves us open to falsehood and confusion, and falsity and confusion are key to a vicious or downward cycle.
“You are of your father the devil, and you and your will want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” – John 8:44
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” – John 8:32
We have only two choices in life. There’s no escaping this and there’s no neutrality in this. We either dedicate and devote ourselves to truth (or to love, real Love and learning what this truly is); or, by default, we end up leaving ourselves open to more and more untruth, especially the more difficult our lives are and have been.
If we have fallen into the habit of lying a lot, when we are lying or deceiving another or ourselves, we may think that we can control our lying, that deep down we know the truth and we can keep track of it, and that all this lying and deceiving isn’t doing anything harmful to us; in fact, just the opposite, it’s protecting us.
But this too is a lie.
We can’t control our lying. If we have not consciously dedicated ourselves to truth, then we lie reflexively, automatically, in spite of ourselves; it’s become not just a second language to us, but our primary or native language. We lie to others, we lie to ourselves, we lie to ourselves and other about ourselves and our lying. We hide parts of ourselves, we make excuses about why we hide parts of ourselves. We wear masks, sometimes several at a time, but usually on top of another. We want to be true to ourselves, we want to believe that there’s still a self to be true to, but we’re lost and we no longer know what part or parts of ourselves to be true to—to what’s best in us or what’s worst in us—and so we’re true to both and act out on both, on whatever we feel, we’re like an instrument way out of tune, life strums us and chaos is what sounds back out of us. We’re confused, lost, and we’re in deep, over our heads, drowning not waving in a sea of lies and deception and falsehood. We’ve sold our soul, and if not, we’re well on the way to selling it. And for what? More momentary relief? More momentary excitement and distraction and anesthesia? Getting our way?
When we dedicate ourselves to truth, we are modeling ourselves after God, and the likes of Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, and cetera. We when don’t and we become okay with lying and we have developed all sorts of defenses and ways of buffering ourselves from facing what we’re actually doing—meaning we have all sorts of ways explaining away (i.e. rationalizing—rational lies)—our lying, then we are modeling our lying deceitful behavior after the father of lies—the devil or Satan—and speaking his language, the language of lies, instead of the language of Love and Truth.