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On Truth

Saturday night. Time to write.

I heard this quote once, from a friend in college, who read it from some philosopher dude, who poignantly proved that basically nothing is real. It goes something like:

The only truth is doubt, because if you doubt doubt, then you still have doubt.”

It’s kinda fun to think about. Tonight I wish to use it as a springboard for this post.

I’ve been caught in a web of self-reflection lately. I think it’s because my life is really calm and uneventful currently, and it was just the opposite only a couple of months ago. It’s that moment after the dust settles that you attempt to restitch all of the events that have passed. It’s like the last bullet in a Tarantino fight scene, ya know? There’s just a shit ton of mayhem and blood and balls getting shot off and suddenly it’s quiet and Django looks around at all the smoldering corpses and thinks to himself “well shit…I ain’t a bad shot.”

In my month of thinking about the events that have led me to my present, I’ve reached some sort of enticing realization. Something I’ve been deeply aware of for the majority of my life but couldn’t quite place hammer to nailhead.

That realization is: I tend to feel like I’m very, very right.

And I fucking hate it.

I hate it because I think it’s gotten me into trouble. I think it’s the reason I’ve lost so many important people in my life. I think it’s the reason that I feel bitter in browsing social media outlets. I think it’s the sole cause for my cynicism and, in turn, has robbed me of a lot of happiness and inner peace.

I think being right is fucking wrong.

Let’s explore.

~

I love Gin and Tonic. I fucking love Gin and Tonic. It’s my default. I basically can’t stand any other hard liquor, except Jaegermeister, but that usually isn’t the base of any cocktail. I’ve been a G&T man since Vegas 2012, and I can’t see myself ever loving anything as much. Gin has my heart. Gin is my home.

If you were to ask me six years ago what my favorite drink was, I would have laughed. I would have looked down on you and softly spoke “I don’t drink.” I would’ve told you that I never planned to drink alcohol because I thought it was pathetic and disgusting.

Six years ago, I thought I was so indubitably right in thinking that alcohol was basically the devil.

Because of this, I never drank in high school. I never drank my freshman year of college. I never drank my sophomore year of college. Can you imagine me at parties? Can you imagine a worse college kid? Fuck man, I missed a lot. I feel it now.

It wasn’t until I really dug deep and fought my inner demons surrounding booze that doubt was able to surface. And once I let go of feeling right, I was able to feel drunk.

Shout out to anyone who has ever felt drunk. That shit is fun.

Okay. Time to get real.

I haven’t talked to my best friend in six months. I haven’t talked to him because I feel like he abandoned me to date the girl he plans to marry. I feel discarded by him and I feel worthless to him. I feel hurt and I feel rage.

What I also feel is very, very right about him. And I hate it.

The reason for our fallout is because of my relentless disapproval for the girls he has dated. I have never liked any of them. Why? I can’t tell you. I just feel right about disliking them. I feel right about the judgments I posses for them and for the desire for him to have the best. I feel right in thinking that none of the girls he has dated have been the best.

Because of this, I have lost my best friend.

And deservingly so! Who the fuck would continue to pursue friendship with someone who hates everybody with whom you’re romantically involved? What kind of friend would be such a dick to all these girls, never giving them a glimmer of a chance with the person he’s closest to? Who would enjoy or even tolerate someone like that?

Shout out to my best friend. If you’re reading this, I don’t feel sorry. I feel right. I’m sorry that I feel right. I wish I didn’t.

Why do I care so much? Why am I so protective? Why do I feel like he deserves the best, yet refuse the best when she has appeared?

Why do I feel so right about this?

And I am alone in feeling this way. I know it. There’s no doubt that I’m the only one who has always unfairly disrespected his love interests.

But I still feel right.

Okay. That was honest. Let’s keep going.

I hate the notion of god. I hate the organized church and part of me will always look down on people of faith who follow it. I have always been this way, and much like Gin & Tonic, I feel like I will never change. The reason is because I feel right in disbelieving in god.

You know what’s funny? The closest girl in my life is a devout, loving christian.

That tears me up.

But I feel so right. I feel so, so very right. I wish I could doubt myself. I wish I could explore faith, and the teachings of church, and I wish I could sanely entertain the idea of some heaven-like afterlife. But every time I do, I just feel even more right about it all. I feel that there is no way it could be true. I feel that there is no way a god could be true. And that leads to hate, and cynicism, and loss.

And because of this, I’m probably missing out. I’m probably losing a lot of potential relationships. And I’m probably losing best friends.

All because I feel right.

~

I guess I don’t know what to do with it. I have this realization, yet I have no idea how to cultivate doubt: the key ingredient to opening my heart and experiencing new happiness. I have no idea how to let go of the feeling, even though I know intimately its torment. I have no idea how to doubt myself.

It’s even more difficult when your conclusions originated in doubt. I was raised religious. And then I entertained doubt. And now I feel that I have explored the idea tenfold in my mind, and I have arrived at “atheism”.

I like thinking of Galileo. Of Twain. Of all the great heretics. There must have been such a burning feeling of “right” in these people. I suppose that is my only solace: that my “right” is actually right. That I simply cannot doubt myself because it’s the truth, and the church and the girls and the alcohol was a lie.

Then again, that’s what they think too.

The people of faith feel right. My best friend feels right. ISIS feels right and Obama feels right and that stoner trying to sell you books on chakras feels right too. Charles Manson feels right and Ghandi feels right and Nancy Grace and Darwin and Kanye feel so right right right. Your shitty roommate feels right and your mother feels right and the Klan feels just the same amount of right that O.J. felt when he killed his wife. Even Lucas felt right when he wrote Jar-Jar, and that was obviously fucking not right.

But I guess that’s why we’re here. Just to feel right, even though it’s wrong.

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3 thoughts on “On Truth

  1. ahriik says:

    That really opens my eyes a bit, thinking about all those people who believe they were right (that Jar Jar bit was fantastic btw).

    Really makes you wonder, what is actually *right* in this world? I mean there’s a generally accepted set of parameters and views that the seemingly majority of people in the world hold to be right. But then there are people who the majority of the world thinks of as “radicals,” but they think that they themselves are actually right.

    Really enjoyed this post, man. Really makes a guy think.

  2. Dear Sam,
    Taking a deep breath as I plunge in to reply to your post – continuing to be in awe of your writing ability and having huge waves of appreciation for both your self-awareness and your transparency. Mwah!

    I also want to share something based on both my 30-plus years as a professional and 27 years married to Pedro. Human beings can be addicted to many things; alcohol, work, shopping, sex…….but one of our greatest addictions is what you’ve named in this post: the addiction to being RIGHT. It’s one of the greatest relationship termites that exists. If you think about it, it’s actually at the root of any war that has has ever been started.

    If someone is RIGHT, then by definition it means someone else has to be WRONG. As soon as this dynamic gets set into motion, it is bound to elicit defensiveness, walls are erected between people and we can then retreat into the sanctuary of pride and RIGHTNESS which eventually leads to isolation.

    As my friend and colleague, Julie Colwell says in her new book, the crucial choice we all face is this: Would you rather be right or be happy?
    As she points out, intimate connection never happens at the level of the mind.
    “Deep intimacy requires curiosity, wonder, and the ability to find the truth of one’s experience deep in one’s body.” (p.5 of The Relationship Skills Workbook). In other words, opinions are formed in our minds where we can hone our debate capabilities. But it does little to promote true intimacy. “The hard habit to break is that of arguing – which disconnects people.”

    Being RIGHT is also something that can produce quite the adrenalin rush – and did you know adrenalin is the most addictive substance on the planet????

    Getting into who’s right and who’s wrong is a great way to disconnect and to also cover up the more vulnerable feelings…..feelings that once really owned and expressed have the capacity to bring you back into connection.What I hear is true for you is that you feel “abandoned, discarded, hurt and rage.” That’s actually starting to bring you more into the territory that has potential to do two positive things:
    1. Lead you back into connection
    2. Teach you something about yourself that has nothing to do with your friend.
    We all can get triggered the closer we get to someone – it’s one of the gifts that close relationship offers. So here’s the other thing I’ve learned in all these years:
    When my reaction is strong, it has something to do with my own history and is way beyond the current situation. Whatever this “something” is requires my wondering and honest introspection. I then uncover a piece of history that never fully healed….but just lies dormant inside me like a land mine waiting for the “right” relationship circumstances to set it off. No wonder so many people are scared of real closeness!!!

    You, of course, are free to disagree with any and all of this. And I clearly have some selfish motives for responding with such passion 🙂 I love you, Sam, and will always be here for you. But sometimes I worry about where you’re headed when it comes to interpersonal relationships. I’m available to talk in person should you want to explore any of this further.

  3. theundulatingdragon says:

    Sam i love this post and the feelings it brings up in my mind. I was just having a conversation with a local muslim here in jakarta and naturally we got to the topic of religion with my according to him very interesting views on the whole subject. He wasn’t upset at all when i claimed islam to be a boring religion as for me dogma leaves things in a static place and things like don’t eat pork drink alchohol and the whole women needing to cover themselves bugs me. why hide so much beauty? He got goosebumps when i said i believe everyone to be god, that he was in fact muhamed and jesus all wrapped up into one he only needed to remember. anyway he ended up asking me i belived in faith. Imeadiatley i replied with i believe in doubt. With doubt your left to continually question never finding an answer which keeps growth happening. Keep the doubt alive we are never right! but then again i consider myself right about this doubt…
    Anyway i love pointing this out and feel it will be a nice addition to your philosopher quotation. Socrates, our first western smart guy who started the whole western quest for knowledge in the first place, held the idea that he knew absolutley nothing and no one else knew anything either. He pissed off the poeple around him so much that they actually put him to death. So what is it about humanity that we feel we need to be right all the time? why cant we find the wisdom of uncertainty and move on without fear of not being right? You seem to have made some large steps in the process and with your writing others may as well so for that i congratulate and thank you!

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