Wednesday, 7 May 2014

This Is Not A Test

Truth-telling matters to me.  I mean it really matters.  Not just as an empty buzzword or a kind of rock-star posturing.  It is one of the things I hold most dearly.  Not just my own ability to tell the truth, but anyone’s.  I can imagine a time when truth counted for something; so much so that it was a kind of social and spiritual currency.  Perhaps such a time never really existed, but I’d like to believe that it did – and that we can find our way there again, eventually. I admittedly have a very dark worldview because I have seen and experienced some pretty disturbing things in my thirty-five years in this realm, so take everything that I say with a grain of salt.  But it seems to me that truth has become so utterly devalued, so facile and arbitrary that many of us no longer know what it really feels and tastes like; how it moves and how it communicates.  I have always tried to create a working relationship with truth, both experientially and psychically.  I have always tried to hone my intuition and the various gifts that for the longest time I tended to view as curses.  This relationship has both helped and hindered me.  Hindered in the sense that it occasionally grants me access to what I came to realize was hidden or secret knowledge – oftentimes knowledge that I was spiritually and emotionally unprepared to deal with.  The truth often comes with a huge burden, a heavy responsibility.  In short, it can be utterly crippling and exhausting.

But obviously in other contexts the truth has afforded me freedom, strength, wisdom and opportunities – and sometimes joy beyond measure, for which I am extremely grateful.  I only mention all this to highlight the fact that like most incredibly powerful things truth is a double-edged sword.  Truth can be a deadly weapon. It is incredibly destructive as well as creative, depending on the level or lack of dexterity with which it is handled.  For me the people who try to speak the truth, or earnestly search for its many nuances to the betterment and emancipation of the human race – these people are unalloyed heroes plain and simple.  They are the ones standing at the Edge of the World, often putting themselves in harm’s way in an attempt to stop too many others from plummeting off the edge and tumbling into the void.  This is why in art I am always drawn to truth-tellers and subversives, be they the artists themselves or their characters and their works.   

This is also why I am deeply fascinated by Gnosticism and Gnostic-inspired works of art.  I feel that Gnosticism speaks to the obvious inequalities in wealth and power and opportunities existing all around us, as well as the rampant corruptions, perversions and systems of control that have sought to manipulate human consciousness for most of recorded history.  In short, from my perspective, Gnosticism tackles reality as it truly is, not as we would wish it to be.  It tackles the darkest and most disturbing questions concerning this experience we find ourselves in – it doesn’t attempt to ignore or massage away the shadows with a trick of the light.  It doesn’t blithely assume that hideous cruelty and unimaginable suffering is somehow an ingrained or necessary aspect of our reality as sentient beings.  It attempts to provide reasons, answers or interpretive strategies for why things are the way they are – and I find that commendable, even if in the end we are merely creating strange fictions whilst groping around half blind in the dark.  And to me this commendable search for truth and meaning is paramount for human beings and the way we attempt to navigate through the maelstrom of existence.  Our lives are incredibly complicated, at least within our own minds, but they are also often brutish and short.  Most of human knowledge may indeed be a tapestry of interwoven fictions – but those tapestries are evidence of the brief flicker of fire that constitutes a human life, or a generation, or the accumulated flames of the consciousness of an entire race. 

This is not a game.  This is serious.  This is a journey to answer the deepest questions concerning the nature of human identity and destiny.  We use our fictions to cultivate lucidity and wisdom, even in the face of fear or terrible darkness.  This is not a test.  This is the real deal.  This is life and death. 


  1. I can feel the passion in this post! Great stuff.

  2. Dear raj, is there a way to contact you via email other than the aol one, gmail seems to fail in sending. Thank you!