The Lash of Truth May Draw Blood

Weather Vane

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“To free the soul from the chains of illusion in order that the lash of truth may draw blood at a greater number of points.”

− definition of Disenchantment by Ambrose Bierce, The Enlarged Devil’s Dictionary

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There are certain questions which have two answers.

One such question is – Do you hold grudges or do you believe in forgive and forget?

One answer is a dream of reality, which may be based on reality but is more a hoped for state. Who we’d like to be, what we’d like to do, how we imagine handling something or someone. But it’s theoretical. We’re not in that situation, we’re thinking about it, musing, and answering from that perspective, safely removed and detached from the earth of living, floating just above the ground, maybe even high enough to sit on a fluffy cloud and ponder our better self who is rather lovely and would be decent and good.

We like to paint pretty pictures of ourselves (photoshopping out the blemishes and bad bits) when telling others about who we are and what we do.

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“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.”
― Henry David Thoreau

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And one answer which is the actual reality. Who we actually are, what we actually do, how we really handle something or someone, when push comes to shove. It’s not theoretical, we’re in the situation, reacting to it, acting on instinct, programming, whatever impulse is live in the present. No time to think things through, be or do what we imagined. Our feet are firmly planted in the mud, dirt, and basic experience of living, being and doing. This version of us can be slightly different from our better self, and definitely isn’t as lovely as we’d like. It can be the a-hole whom we prefer to pretend we could never be (and may blame others for it – he/she made me do it, feel this way, it’s not my fault, etc).

The self-portraits our actions and words paint in the moment can be rather shocking to the aesthetic of cosmetic artist within us.

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“Closure is a greasy little word which, moreover, describes a nonexistent condition. The truth, Venus, is that nobody gets over anything.”
― Martin Amis

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Both of these answers can be experienced by the person answering as the truth… even if they contradict each other and others may have a different opinion of the matter… as they are alternate forms of the truth.

Extenuating circumstances have bearing on the answer we give at any given time.

If we’re in a good mood and things are going well for us, or if we’re in pleasant company (or perhaps trying to impress those asking), then we might believe in the best of ourselves (having forgotten, and perhaps also forgiven, the worst side of us because that part is not needed at this time and frankly we’d rather not think about it).

However if we’re in a bad mood and things are going every which way but where we want them to go, or if we’re in dubious company (and want that person or people to know that they really should not mess with us), then we might opt to portray ourselves in a different light – a dark one.

Whichever way we go… all ways eventually meet up (and may have a bit of a brawl when they do – our separate sides don’t necessarily get along).

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“There is an odd synchronicity in the way parallel lives veer to touch one another, change direction, and then come close again and again until they connect and hold for whatever it was that fate intended to happen.”
― Ann Rule

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Being a bit topsy turvy, I tend to portray myself far worse than I actually am.

It’s a habit borne of… many things, reasons…

some of which are manipulative – tell people how awful you are and they are more likely to be pleasantly surprised when you don’t live up to your own bad press. Tell people you’re better than you actually are and… they’ll spend a lot of time and effort trying to be disappointed by yo, which can sour the relationship.

some are fear-based – I can come across as rather green, naive, stupid, and this can complicate matters as people think I’m an idiot – I can be one (one who is aware of being one), but not always in the way that people may think – and try to take advantage.

[Note to the salesman who thought that I’d pay a ridiculous amount of money to sort out the septic system of my house – I am fairly certain that you based your judgment on faulty parameters. I am not desperate, not in a hurry to sort it out, I can wait………………………… nor am I afraid of my own shit, being dirty, and living in a basic and wild kind of way.]

and some are… quirks of living and being – I grew up being told the awful truth about myself every time someone else had a problem with themselves they’d rather deflect elsewhere. It’s a difficult and intricate piece of nurturing to remove… and I’m not sure I want to remove it, it has its uses.

When faced with a question about holding grudges, forgiving and forgetting, anger and the like…

my preferred answer tends to be…

a fantasy of the reality of things.

I’d like to be far fiercer, far more grudge-filled, unforgiving and with the memory of a very pissy elephant than I actually am… but I’m too lazy for that, and tend to get bored of holding onto things which are easier to let go (just don’t mistake my moving on for letting you off the hook if you did something that inspired my anger – it takes ages to ripen, but once it does…).

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“Based on the experience of my life, which I have not exactly hit out of the park, I tend to agree with that thing about, If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. And would go even further to: Even if it is broke, leave it alone, you’ll probably make it worse.”
― George Saunders

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23 thoughts on “The Lash of Truth May Draw Blood

  1. Forgive and forget. Sounds nice, reads nice. And it’s almost become a societal expectation. I have to be ready to do that so that I can mean it. Sometimes, “ready” never comes. Forgiving and forgetting, if it has the possibility of working, is very personal. If something keeps pricking, we’ve neither forgiven nor forgotten.

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    1. I agree.

      It does seem to be a glib solution to problems in relationships, it’s in league with move on, let it go, get over it, and things like that which people often say to others without even thinking when they’ve kind of had enough of listening to someone discuss a problem. It’s also one of those things which I think people feel good for saying but don’t necessarily practice.

      There’s something which smacks a bit of magical thinking about it, as though it’s a morsel of mushroom in Wonderland.

      And it is definitely something personal which has to suit us when we do it, if we do it. Sometimes it’s just not practical or viable.

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  2. i think the suffix “for” points out the act of going beyond giving and getting, to forgive is more than give (that means power to me) and to forget is to throw something in a pantry, hoping that memory won’t be able to fish it out. We have to live with reality, either to accept it or not, to understand it for sure. And what about a hurting behaviour you forgive and forget, you throw it out of the door? later it will come in from the window, unless you work on it, why did i allow people to do so? is someone i have “forgiven” able to repeat again the same hirting pattern?
    I have a problem with the act of getting, prendre, prendere.i don’t want to be messed up by things which are not mine-as the wounds passed onto me by my “kind” N “parents”.
    Thank you for your compliment-you are one of the rarest people i know whose compliments sound always authentic.xxx

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    1. I agree, if you try to get rid of something which you haven’t dealt with, then it’s going to come back like throwing a boomerang. Ultimately I think each situation needs an approach which suits it and us in that moment. We can always change our minds – forgive, then decide that was a bad idea, and switch to don’t forgive. I’ve learned a lot about others by cutting them slack and then waiting to see what they do with it. People like our parents tend to take the slack you give them and use it to tie up a merde in a box to give to you – they’re people not suitable for the forgive and forget approach, they’re better suited to the cutting them out of your life method. However you do have to sort through all the merde they’ve already given you, and return most of it to them.

      Always do what is right for you, sometimes selfishness is the giving and getting that we need for ourselves 🙂

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  3. I’d like to believe I “forgive” all kinds of transgressions on a daily basis: whether humans toward myself, humans toward other humans, or humans toward the world. But I do not “forget”. I really wish I could though. Although I don’t let continued injustices eat away at my psyche, I am a firm believer in the phrase “once bitten, twice shy” to describe my reaction to repeated offences. Anyone who lives in a perpetual state of forgiveness is either a bodhisattva, a saint, or full of shit. I think we are the sum of our experiences, we process them differently at different junctures in our lives, and forgiveness must first start with forgiving ourselves…for feeling what we feel, including feeling unforgiving, when it is justified. And sometimes, it just is.

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    1. I agree. I like your take on it. 🙂

      I’m also very much a user of the once bitten twice shy method. When something happens, someone does something to you, it is information which needs to be assessed and added to what we know. If someone repeatedly commits the same offense over and over, then that gives you more info about who they are and what they’re most likely to keep doing. If you forgive and forget each time they do it they’ll see that as a green light that it’s okay with you, or they’ll think you’re an idiot because those sort of people who tend to never forgive or forget others, hold grudges like valuable treasures, and they judge you based on themselves (usually with themselves as a paragon of rightness).

      I’ve definitely evolved how I do the whole ‘forgive and forget’ thing, mostly through extensive mistake-making experiences. I used to follow the ‘rules’, that whole – a good person always forgives and forgets blah blah blah – but that doesn’t really work. I also went through a period of never forgiving or forgetting, but that was time and energy consuming, didn’t solve a thing, and ate me up alive like an angry ghost. These days I tend to ask myself – What’s best for me in this scenario – and then I choose the laziest option 😉

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      1. The thing about forgiving in my case, is I do it continually for those closest to me, no matter how many times they take advantage of me…if I’m not as close to them, I give them a “two strikes, and you’re out” pass, which has left me pretty much a loner. My family and my pets are now my only transgressors, and I find myself being more and more bitter when stepped on, even by those I love dearly, as the years go by.

        I find it difficult to say “no” or to turn away from needy people in my life. They piss me off sometimes, so when it builds, I want to shake them off and run away to a deep forest and hide in the nearest cave. But I never do. The world, and man’s “inhumanity to man” as well as the environment, really makes me feel unforgiving at times. I try to be a quiet activist about issues I find unforgivable, so that I can “fight back” in my own way, without going all commando for any particular social issue that burns me up. I used to be a lot more reactive than proactive. Sometimes I just wanna say “fuck it, let it all burn”, but then, I’d have a difficult time forgiving myself for being a callous jerk. Your angry ghost analogy really hits home…I sometimes feel like that is what I will become! Then I retreat and try again.

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        1. One of the things I’ve found rather helpful when dealing with issues of ‘forgiving’ is when someone does something which hurts me or angers me and makes me want to go into some sort of avenging angel mode, I look for something similar which I have done or may be doing to them. People sometimes hurt you because they are retaliating to something which they think you’ve done to them, and other variations on the usual human interaction mess.

          I like to keep in mind that I can be an a-hole, or at least that others may experience me that way, and that something which I think is me being okay isn’t necessarily okay for someone else, we’re looking at it from different perspectives and those can create issues. That has a balancing effect on the scenario.

          It’s difficult to get too entrenched in righteous indignation or things of that sort when you are aware that you’re a messy human like others.

          Looking at the bigger global picture can be overwhelming and daunting at times. It can feel as though the human race is stubbornly hell-bent on planetary and species (including the human one) destruction for the sake of some ridiculously petty reason. Human history is full of the same kind of shit happening over and over – we do learn, but it seems to only be in small increments each time we go around on the merry-go-round of destruction and disaster. And we seem to forget stuff as we get caught up in chaos. Perhaps that’s the way it’s meant to be, and our ideas of tidiness are more of a problem than the chaos itself.

          I like to look at the bigger picture beyond the global one when the global one feels oppressive, stressful and full of anxiety. We are all on a tiny planet careening through the WTF universe… we don’t know what created us, or our planet, or why, or anything really, so maybe it’s all copacetic and we’re okay as we are we just don’t know it because our minds can’t handle not knowing. Or something like that.

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  4. Greetings from Germany to you very special being! 🙂
    Forgive…forget… Hold the grudge…move on…could not be bothered…letting off broken things…somehow all this ghosts/entities still live somewhere…personally I never forget or forgive serious punches…I do walk from that situation as having strong 12th place I know what means literally fighting against windmills. The problem is when things get broken (especially love relationships) their entities stay sometimes forever with me… I will talk to that entity on a daily basis, live with it for a years. It’s like you bring that person in your next relationship… So must be so funny when it happens that you can’t never get over some things, even when you realise that the other side has moved on, has better life now, and you’re back to black ( Amy Amy)… Because that entity that was created between two of you stays with you. Must be karmic relationships. And that silly question….Why oh why?!!!!
    How could it…. Is it possible to break unbreakble… Let’s have a look at how Indian philosophies and religions look at the things from the perspectives of millenniums and such an incredible lengths of time…what did you really let go? What did you really forgive? What was really broken?
    We humans I must say are really silly in thinking we can control situations…we are so small and ridiculously vain, including myself hugely. if my 12th house has thought me one thing…there is definitely thing called destiny, it’s up to oneself on which level or form will one choose to live it…that’s possibly one of the choices you can make.
    ….I don’t really know why I wrote all this, and what am I all about… But it’s definitely more then great to have you back Ursula The White…:)

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    1. Guten tag 🙂 What are you doing in Germany, sounds like an interesting adventure!

      I agree with the theory of being haunted by entities from our lives. I also talk with them, might as well since they’re there. I like to figure out why something or someone stays with me, there’s usually a lesson to learn and an evolution to be had out of it.

      Usually I’m the one holding on even if I think I let go, and the place where I’m holding on… it’s connected to something within which needs sorting out, as in understanding.

      Sometimes though, I think it’s because others hold on and we have to wait for them to let go.

      I read or saw something very interesting about that but I can’t remember where, it was a book, I think… or was it a film? Speaking of films, have you ever seen – Coherence (2013) – it’s about alternate selves from alternate realities meeting up and getting mixed up together. Very intriguing! Your 12th house might like it, mine did 🙂

      Have fun on your adventure in Germany!

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      1. I am staying with my sister and her partner here in a small beautiful town in Germany, as things on all levels got really heavy in London, even though i just got a really good job. Regardless, knowing that T Uranus was opposing my Saturn, in each and every way was pushing me out of London. I was thinking good old one ….it’s all just a test… stay stay…go through it…and yes it was just a test…
        However this one was more directed to face whether my ambition is the most important thing in life even though it is closely connected with self-relalsation through music. I’ve literally gone through the hell three times and back while I was in my fav city, and I came there for my music, which I didn’t have any time to spend on. So pretty much it all got pointless.

        Now I am here getting spoiled by my sister (she is really good at it)….working on my music and well being and dunno what’s next…
        Given that T Uranus just started opposing my 12th, and Pluto is joining in from February 2016 squaring and opposing anything that possibly can be squared or opposed….well good luck to me… at the moment I am enjoying T Jupiter sextile my otherwise badly aspected Venus.

        Back to entities and lessons to learn… I don’t know why we always need to take a look on ourselves as some separate beings that others are just here to teach us something, why not just live together and become a being with that one. It’s such an awful thing as people just come and go and become a lesson, I mean having personal space and long days of loneliness is fine with me (12th) , but that just everything being ‘a lesson’ life approach…there is something cold in it. It’s like being forever in the school….what about living life and just become everything…just give yourself and create a beautiful presence that is based on trust and belonging, not never-ending lessons which brings you to deeper truths that everything is actually connected, but somehow you are alone…so what a F.
        In the end of the day we are humans…prone to getting bored sooner or later….both from each other and from yourselves and loneliness…. I don’t know I don’t want any lessons anymore… 🙂 I want life to be lived….

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        1. That sounds like just the kind of getaway opportunity the soul doctor known as life often recommends when we get bogged down in things, and your sister sounds lovely, so that means lots of TLC to heal 🙂

          From my perspective, seeing everything in life as a lesson to be learned actually creates a deeper connection with others and lessens the separateness. For me it makes relationships more meaningful no matter what happens in them. But then again I do have Pluto and Uranus in the first, opposing my 7th with its Chiron and NN placements, so everyone who comes into my life, be it long term or short, harmonious or discordant, etc, is part of my personal evolution. The beauty created comes from the symphony which evolves out of bringing together all experiences and perceiving the rhythms of it all.

          Which reminds me, there’s a composer who created a piece for each sign of the zodiac, I always thought mine was quite a good expression of the coming and goings of people, places and scenarios in my life

          Everything and everyone flows together, then apart, then together… something like that 🙂

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      2. Hi Ursula,

        There’s something about you. Sometimes I feel like you think like me and vice versa. It’s always nice to find that you aren’t the only person who thinks a certain way. Like you, I feel like I am the kind of person who is ‘holding on’ even when I think I let go or moved on. In fact, I still struggle with forgiving the very person I loved so dearly. There are some memories that are on constant replay which physically and emotionally depletes me well being. I don’t want to hold onto this anger yet I struggle to forgive myself for allowing someone to continue to lie, deceive, and manipulate me. And trying to understand the why? Why would he tell me he isn’t trustworthy and I shouldn’t trust him, yet he shows the world he is “genuine, sincere and honest.” He is all about ‘living in the moment’ and removing shame and guilt from his life. If he changed for the better, why was I not worth developing a healthier relationship with if he was in a better place?

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        1. Hi, thank you very much 🙂

          When I get stuck holding onto something I tend to ask myself why – what exactly am I holding onto. Sometimes the answer can be different from what we think it is. If it concerns another person, it often isn’t so much about them as it is about us, about our relationship with ourselves.

          For instance – an emotion like anger is designed to protect us. That’s its purpose. Emotional anger is different from mental anger. If your anger is of the mind, then what is behind it won’t be the same as emotional or primal anger. Mental anger is sometimes something we think ourselves into being angry about – we think we should be angry and so we work ourselves up into being angry about but our emotions may not be in sync with the mind’s view of the situation.

          Emotional or primal anger is something which is visceral and often does not comply with our mind’s reasoning. Our mind may try to convince us not to be angry, but we’re still angry and the mind can’t stop it. Emotional, primal anger won’t let you let go of it until you listen to what it is actually communicating. It usually concerns self-respect, self-care, and other matters connected to looking after yourself.

          If you allow someone to treat you badly or you put up with behaviour from others which is harmful to you, you’ll get angry (it’s an alarm signalling the need to self-protect), especially with yourself, and you won’t be able to release that anger until you get to the root of the matter – which is something within you that needs understanding. Perhaps a story within you that is untold and needs to be given voice.

          Your relationship with this man – is it in any way similar to any other relationship you have had or have? Is there a pattern repeating? What is it that you’re actually struggling with?

          Something like anger has a message, and won’t go away until we let it speak and we hear that message. So, what are you actually angry about? What is the real source of the anger?

          There’s a system which is worth exploring, I’ve found it very useful – Focusing by Eugene Gendlin. It’s basically a way of tapping into what we’re holding onto, emotions, feelings, and finding out what they’re really telling us, what they’re really about.

          This is a video explanation (he rambles quite a bit, but does eventually get around to explaining it) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7PEC5Mh5FY

          What you said about this man is interesting, particularly this bit – “Why would he tell me he isn’t trustworthy and I shouldn’t trust him, yet he shows the world he is “genuine, sincere and honest.”” – to me that sounds like he is giving the world a persona, but when it came to you he revealed the person behind the persona, or at least the person he knows himself to be. He told you his real truth about himself, one he does not tell the world about. So, you could view that as being a sign that he was relatively healthier in his relationship with you than he is with the world. If he is all about “removing shame and guilt from his life”, then what he said to you is more real than what he’s telling the world, and I would hazard a guess that he’s trying to be in a better place, but he may not be there yet and he shared his real place with you. But that is just a guess.

          Forgiveness in some ways is about accepting things and people, including ourselves, as they are. It can be challenging because we’re always in conflict with our ideals and dreams of how things and people, how we, could be, would like them to be, think they should be. We also have an idea of what forgiveness is which isn’t always practical.

          Be gentle with yourself. Perhaps at this time holding on is required for whatever reason, and you will naturally let go when you’re ready.

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  5. I actually don’t believe in the duo forgive and forget, the latter because our psyche can only repress but can’t get rid of feelings, as our body does for toxins, and the former, the act of forgiving, to me, it’s just a very personal point of view, stinks of a religious pedestal the person who forgives puts herself or himself on, in a sort of looking down on someone attitude as if we were so good and perfect to act like God.
    It’s curious the word itself, for-give, par-donner, per-donare, means condonare, which in latin is the equivalent of to condone, so to give without a price to pay.
    I believe in understanding with my reason and my heart, but i am not very good to behave as if nothing happened. And yes, I cannot forgive nor forget (even if i were God) nor understand my “parents”.

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    1. It all depends on how we interpret what it is to forgive and forget, and how we apply it. Is it something we give to others or to ourselves?

      I like how you’ve broken the word ‘forgive’ down. I do that with words too, it gives another perspective of their meaning which can lead to a new way of approaching what it defines for us.

      Perhaps the reason those two words are coupled is because they have ‘give’ and ‘get’ in them, and those always seem to be paired, but what are they ‘for’ or who are they for?

      Or maybe the ‘for’ is ‘fore’ and means something like – before you can give you must first get. But what is it that must be gotten? Is it an apology, amends, closure?

      You’ve opened an intriguing door into a search for something more than what is on the surface. You are an explorer of depths deep within 🙂

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