It can happen in a moment – one day it all seems wonderful, the world looks glorious, bathed in sunshine and beauty. Nothing seems not in its rightful place. There is hope and freedom in every thought and word and smile. Compassion abounds and despair seems like a cloudy something that happens to other, less conscious beings. The cup, so to speak, is full and frothy.
And then it descends, sometimes heavily and at others like a wispy dusting of powder on a chilly February morning. It settles into the psyche with no indication of when it will move on, if it will move on. Sometimes it fades away into the background cocooned in a pain body, and at others it remains under the skin with nagging persistence. Things lose meaning, thoughts defy coherence and life becomes a caricature of what it was portrayed to be in more positive times.
What changed? Externally it is perhaps manifested as thwarted anticipations, dashed desires or dissatisfied cravings. Internally more like a chemical imbalance, a psychological curve ball or a cerebral dysfunction. Either way it’s enough to lose ones sense of self. A fully aware consciousness can still succumb to this dull pain and listless lethargy. A downward cycle of energy, so feared in our culture, is either quickly drowned through substance abuse or analyzed into neatly packaged solutions or suppressed into the depths of the psyche where it gestates and ferments to reopen, without warning, like a festering wound.
Which one was real, then? The agony or the ecstasy? Which is the natural way of being and relative to what? Could the same sense of loss and pain be interpreted as joy and bliss in a parallel universe where everything is at a perfect 180 degrees to this reality? Can joy really be interpreted as despair under different circumstances or when viewed through radically different filters?
There’s a club in San Francisco called Fake and people take the concept quite seriously. To be truly hip, you must be a real fake, because if you fake fakeness you’re just not being honest. So the real fakes walk in with the confidence that can only come from being genuinely committed to the look and act and process of embracing everything that is glossy, reflected and superficial. Tremendous energy and effort needs to be devoted to creating this grand illusion of being a certain someone, fully concealing ones own identity and embodying the lie. Not everyone can pull it off and fake fakes just look pathetic.
So there you have it: Being really fake or fakely (sic) fake or being fakely real or really real are the options at any given moment. Each choice will create its own experience and I suppose as long as I am aware of the choice I have made, I will have the truthful experience of being real or being fake. And when I have chosen truthfully, then there is the feeling of spontaneity and cheer. In contrast, the false choice leads to the heaviness and gloom that descends without warning.
The choice to create agony or ecstasy is then dependent on living the lie or living the truth.
The dilemma, though, often is that one has spoken the lie so convincingly for so long that it ultimately begins to roll off the tongue as god blessed truth.
Take two Heads of State. One fully convinced that the lies he speaks are holy truths, the other knowing in his heart that the lies he speaks are simply heinous falsehoods believed by none, but fearfully abided by many. One wishes to convince the world that the truth can only be the way it is interpreted by him – and actually succeeds. The other, well, just gets buried under the rubble of his own lies.