From the February 2006 Idaho Observer:

The only non-fiction

The patriot movement has pretty well established the fact that governments are fictions and the only way for fictions to conduct business is with other fictions. So, governments have devised a series of schemes allowing them to create fictions of our persons on paper and other schemes that trick us into believing they have dominion over our flesh-and-blood bodies through their ink-and-paper fictions. But what if no one is fooling anybody except themselves and everything is a construct of our own minds?

Look around you. Then think about the people that have come in and out of your life. Then look at books with old pictures in them. Then look at your own photo albums, or start shuffling through the shoe boxes containing the photographic record of your family. Then sit back for a moment or two and let the world as it has been revealed to you wash back over you—from kindergarten, through grade and high school—right up to present.

Fiction. All of it. From the first traces of family to present, and everything in between. People grow up believing lies, live their lives in strict adherence to lies, pass the lies onto their children and grandchildren, then die without a clue that the foundations of understanding that carried them through their lives all the way to the grave were spun from pure fiction.

Like it or not, this is just the way it is and there is nothing we can do about it. Use President Bush’s 2006 State of the Union address as an example. His entire speech was delivered from a perspective that no one but he and his insiders can appreciate, or believe. Regular folks don’t see the growing economy, or the safer streets, or the better schools, or better healthcare. They see higher prices and a growing lack of meaningful employment; they see violence as a rule and their friends and family members dying slowly and expensively from chronic illness; they see kids who can’t spell, read or think critically but have no problem parroting what they’ve seen on TV.

President Bush sees a "strong" country and a state of the union that is "good." His words will live on forever as history because they were spoken by the president of the United States; regardless of what millions of people may have thought about his address, history will only remember their voiceless assent to the president’s record.

And this is how lies begin. Think of all the George Bushes throughout the ages that have stood on rocks, soapboxes or behind podiums, shouting their truth for all to hear: "The world is flat, the moon is green cheese, germs cause disease, the Great Depression was an accident, our God is the only God, our race is the superior race, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was an unprovoked surprise, Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK, war is peace, slavery is freedom, torturing prisoners is lawful, government is here to help you" and "Santa is a fat man in a red suit that lives at the North Pole."

Though I could go on for several pages, I think the point is well made: Entire generations before us have molded their worldviews, cultures and religious beliefs around pure fictional nonsense that came to be believed and passed on as truth because dissenting voices couldn’t, wouldn’t or didn’t compete and, therefore, did not survive in history.

So the George Bushes of history have been molding it for so long now there is no way to qualify anything as true with absolute certainty because, while probing the layers, we inevitably discover that relevant foundations upon which we hope to rely are just more fiction. This is why so many equally unqualified opinions can erupt from the same set of "known" circumstances; why a man can be despised by some and loved by many; why a former spouse can turn into an angry, spiteful and manipulative lunatic and still claim the moral high ground; why civil courts have always been such profitable businesses for attorneys and judges.

For most of my life I have had this maddening ability to see where other people are coming from and can therefore rationalize or justify their thoughts and actions. I may not like or agree with them, but I can understand. Even as a child, I seemed to recognize that each person creates his own world around him by how he responds to it. As I have gotten older, as I am led to discover lie after unceasing lie, there is only one non-fiction upon which I can rely and that is my own heart and its connection to my Creator.

In all humility, I have no idea what that means except that I believe my soul is eternal and that it is learning from its interactions and experiences with this world. I believe that it is my purpose to grow and learn and become better and that my life is a guided tour intended to achieve that end. If that is true for me, then it is true for others—every one has a soul being guided on a tour different than my own.

After performing the opening exercises of this column countless times over the years and reading and studying whatever crosses my wide path of interests, I have found not one truth that can stand absolutely and perfectly on its own. At some level, upon honest, humble, theological and corporate-neutral reflection, everything of this world of man crumbles into a heap of lies and contradictions.

There is only one thing we know for certain and that is our own hearts (a term that we all understand). The world may spin around us but we do not escape ourselves. We are always with us. The world may be lying to us but we cannot lie to ourselves. The only other entity in the universe sharing that perfect intimacy with us is our Creator—I don’t suspect that we can lie to Him either. (DWH)

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Hari Heath

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