I was asked what my “one wish” would be in a conversation with friends last night. You know the game. It usually turns into two factions, people who want flight versus the people who want invisibility. I tried to come up with a light-hearted, jovial answer. I couldn’t. My mind has been even more serious than usual as of late and I didn’t give the answer that came to mind first. I gave the one that was the result a hard thinking. It’s conceivably the worst wish I could be granted, so if I am ever confronted by Djinn I will hold my tongue. I asked for Truth. Plain, absolute truth.
I know that Truth would slice the sanity from my mind like Joseph “The White Angel” Mengele, sliced the skin from innocent children. Men often complain that Truth eludes them and that they should not have to spend their lives looking for it. Perhaps it’s wise that it’s elusive. Truth would be the best of all possible recruits in my Army Of The Mind.
I’m glad that my quixotic quest for truth has only been able to bear enough fruit to stay ahead of most men but not so much that I no longer have to compete. The competition drives me, but I can’t think of a worse fate that to know with absolute certainty the answers to questions like “Who am I?”, “Why we are here?”, “What’s the meaning of life?”
I’d even know what lies after death!
Then I’d die. Because no matter what the answer was, there would be no mystery left.
Lets not even delve into the truths we’d learn about others! I shudder at the thought of seeing past the carefully constructed masks we all wear. I know that you just said, “I’m not like that!” You’re lying, to yourself. You know it, and you have the audacity to get mad that I pointed it out.
Truth is a grizzly old soldier.
Still, if I ever found him he’d be the first recruit into my Army Of The Mind. Truth is reliable to a fault and doesn’t sleep when on duty; Truth is ALWAYS on duty. Truth has never had a full ration or a serviceable rifle with which to defend himself with. He never complains because he doesn’t need either. Truth must look you in the eye when he confronts you, he must be able to see the look in your eyes as your pupils shrink, widen, and shrink again when confronted with the indisputable reality that Truth.
Still, the younger, brasher recruits he’s seen growing in the ranks shun Truth. To name three, there is the false doctor Avarice; the powerful demolitions expert Spite, who destroys everything he touches, even himself; the long range, silent and nearly invisible killer of minds Pride. Each one is as lethal as Truth. Yet they share camaraderie, an esprit de corps that Truth is never a part of.
Spite, the father of massacres and mind-rape.
Truth knows that Spite is often just Anger in a poorly fitting disguise; a disguise that’s a patchwork, ill-fitting uniform. Spite claims to be accurate and precise, yet truth knows that to be a lie. Truth knows that anger is what truly guides Spites actions. Spite is a master of destruction. Laying traps and mines in the minds and hearts of friend and foe alike. Spite can be found claiming to any who will listen that all the damage he’s done was intentional in its savagery, when in fact, it was collateral damage. Spite isn’t oblivious to the maimed babies and (barely) surviving children with missing/mangled limbs covered with festering, weeping wounds that will never heal. Spite simply does not care.
As the undisputed master of using cold hard facts to tell lies, Spite has nearly killed himself many times when he stepped into a patchwork of traps he hid so well that even he’d forgotten they were there.
Avarice, the venom laced robber of graves.
In this life, she is masquerading as a physician for the ill and sickened. In fact, she is simply a vulture waiting to suck marrow from the bones and the gold from the pockets of those who fall to their knees, worn to the bone and nearly dead of exhaustion in the pursuit of their goals.
She pretends to offer nourishment from her ample, swelling bosom and succulent nipples. Her breast milk is warm and sweet, but as poisonous, putrid, and fetid as the brackish water that fountains up from an overflowing sewer after a rainstorm. Foul milk with chunks of offal and discarded tumors that thicken her mucous filled succor. Still, to the sick and dying she seems like a Florence Nightingale reborn. Avarice is a beautiful killer. She will leave your pockets empty before your body is even cold.
She is why Truth carries all his wealth in is head, and not his pockets. The gems of wisdom he’s accumulated over the years can only be safe from thieves when he keeps it in his mind, and hen freely gives it away to any who ask for it. Once a gem of wisdom is hidden in the mind, it becomes an invaluable supply of wealth, knowledge that can never be stolen.
Pride, under whose shadow you will fall.
Pride is the most lethal of all the mercenaries a man can choose to enlist into the Army Of The Mind. Pride is a silent, deadly hunter of dissidents and a merchant of backward rationalization and casuistry.
Pride tells tall tales of the noble kills he’s made when in fact the detractors that he has silenced were the chorus of conflicting ideologies that bring balance to a mans thought process. Not only does Pride kill them with his long-range rifle of rhetoric; loaded with bullets of intelligence, he reports his slaughter as if they were hard won battles. They were never so noble as to be called a battle; in fact, he would lie in wait for his quarry to step outside into the sunlight, like an orchid that suddenly came to maturity when it was told that there was a call for “A thousand flowers to bloom”. Then, Pride is so sudden in his attack that his prey is silenced before it even had time to speak a dying wish.
Truth has seen evil come, be bested in battle, and renew itself in a more cunning and crafty version of itself many times. Nearly all evil wears many faces, yet Pride does not. Pride wears no mask to hide himself, nor does he choose a new face when he’s reborn. He drinks from the powerful wellspring of Ego, The Master Seducer and wears a face that can never be hated, because the face it wears is
Avoiding the wellspring of Ego,