Pensitivity 101 has tagged me for the 321 Quote Me! Topic: Truth challenge. Thank you Pensitivity!
The rules are:
1 – Thank the selector (the blogger who tagged you for the challenge).
2 – Post 2 quotes on the chosen topic.
3 – Tag 3 bloggers to pass the challenge on.
I’ve chosen to go with a couple of quotes from Douglas Coupland.
Here’s a truth for you – I’m fairly certain that I haven’t read any of his books.
I thought I had. Every time I hear or see his name I place a mental ‘read’ tick next to it.
But I can’t remember which book I’ve supposedly read. I scrolled through his bibliography and none of the titles ring an – I held this book in my hand, caressed the pages and absorbed its story into my skin – bell.
So, I’m concluding that I haven’t read any of his books, but for some reason, at some point in past time, I thought I had and that thought that I had became a truth.
It’s fascinating how easily a lie can become a truth. It’s not a particularly dramatic, big or important lie, but I have been lying to myself without realising it until now.
Will I now try to turn the uncovered lie into a real truth by reading one of his books?
a. Yes, of course!
c. I don’t know, maybe I will, maybe I won’t.
“She thought about her life and how lost she’d felt for most of it. She thought about the way that all truths she’d been taught to consider valuable invariably conflicted with the world as it was actually lived. How could a person be so utterly lost, yet remain living?”
― Douglas Coupland, All Families are Psychotic
If I do, it’ll be – All Families Are Psychotic – as I can totally relate to the quote above and the title of the book.
One of the constants in my experience of life has been coming face to face with alternate versions of reality. Every alternate version of reality has alternate versions of truth and lies within it.
When you step from one version into another, it creates a lot of confusion in the mind. The mind hates confusion – it’s its nemesis.
I read an intriguing article yesterday about a new social trend – having a nemesis. While reading it, I kept wondering if what I was reading was true or if it was an early April’s Fool Day prank.
This is a link to the article: The Atlantic – Get Yourself A Nemesis (How an Online Nemesis Can Help You Succeed)
The word “nemesis” reminds me of Agatha Christie. I’ve definitely read her books, I’ve read almost all of them including one she wrote under a pseudonym. My favourite book of hers is – The Man in the Brown Suit.
The first time I came across the concept of having a nemesis was in one of her books, and it stuck in my mind because it explained something about my parents to me – they always had to have a nemesis in their life.
At one point I realised that I was my mother’s ultimate nemesis.
I knew that I was regularly cast as a villain in her personal dramas. Usually I got the role when she was in-between other more interesting villains and needed to fill the hole in her life – without a villain she found it difficult to maintain her truth of herself as a heroine, a good person, a saint and martyr.
However I didn’t realise that I was the main nemesis. It was quite a shock… more so because it was a truth which explained a lot that had previously been unexplainable, and it clarified much confusion for me.
My parents were rather psychotic, but they thought it was everyone else who was that. They were the sort of people who would suddenly start quoting Nietzsche because they’d magically been turned into Noam Chomsky. It would last for however long that persona they were being was in favour…
Their personas could fall out of favour quickly if they didn’t produce desired results. And all the people whom they’d recruited to help them make that persona a truth, would get discarded when that truth had become inconvenient and useless, and fallen out of favour.
To make a persona appear authentic, genuine, the real you, the truth about you – you need to make sure you look the part and talk the talk of the part.
Walking the talk isn’t necessary as long as you give good gab, say the things that persona would say.
It works better if the things that persona says are what other people want to hear. To sell a lie as the truth, just tell people what they want to believe is true.
“A few years ago it dawned on me that everybody past a certain age-regardless of how they look on the outside-pretty much constantly dreams of being able to escape from their lives. They don’t want to be who they are any more. They want out.”
― Douglas Coupland, The Gum Thief (link leads to a NY Times extended excerpt to see the quote in context)
Being around people like that, not just my parents but also those who supported my parents and helped them turn lies into truth, made me a rather difficult person to be around.
I was constantly getting confused, and when my mind is confused it gets frustrated, depressed, then angry, then aggressive.
My aggressiveness tends to come out in an interrogative style of communication.
I ask a lot of questions of the people with whom I interact, in an effort to clarify confusion, seeking to figure out what is truth and what is fiction, fantasy.
Sadje of Keep It Alive wrote an entertaining Agatha Christie style story the other day – Once Upon A Blog Crime – for another one of Rory’s challenges wherein several bloggers get picked to be characters in a tale of crime and one blogger writes the tale and has to decide who gets killed and whodunit.
In Sadje’s tale – I was killed for asking questions.
The sort of questions I ask of others often gets me ejected from their version of reality.
I’m the character who is killed off for the sake of keeping someone’s drama and personal narrative alive… my questions posed a threat, so the threat is eliminated.
“I told her that people always treat me like an alien; I’ve always expected to be treated as such, and it’s not a very glamorous sensation.
This, naturally, sparked a fight with Mom. Why can’t I try to fit in?”― Douglas Coupland, The Gum Thief (link leads to a NY Times extended excerpt to see the quote in context)
I suppose I could refrain from asking the questions I ask which cause that reaction.
However in my version of reality, testing the truth is what I, the lead character, do.
I don’t just test the truths of others, I test my own as well. I don’t just do it with big truths, I do it with tiny ones too.
Why do I feel the need to test the truth?
With others it is partly due to trying to figure out if they fit into my version of reality or if they’d muck it up and are better thrown out of it, killed off.
With myself it is to test the validity of the structure of my version of reality. Weed out the bullshit, because weeds love to grow in bullshit… and while some weeds have beautiful flowers, can be pretty in the garden, are tasty in salads, promote wildlife, and can be medicinally beneficial, others are just a nuisance and kill off other plants.
“It was pivotal in making you but you don’t remember it. Or do you? Do we understand the events that make us who we are? Do we understand the factors that make us do the things we do?”
― Douglas Coupland, Shampoo Planet
My partner called me a “bad influence” the other night. Why? While I was in the middle of cooking dinner (by placing the food in the cooking thing until it is cooked), he stated that at that very moment he really wanted to eat the glazed raisin roll sitting on the counter, but it would ruin his appetite for dinner.
That kind of truth is one we often pick up from our parents when we’re children. It’s parental propaganda which continues to sell itself to us as adults.
I told my partner that he should eat the glazed raisin roll if he wanted to eat it. Food is more tasty when you’re craving it, and besides we were going to eat it as dessert… why not eat it first instead of last and later.
That’s why he called me a “bad influence”. I think I was a good, sweet, gooey and tasty influence.
He ate the roll, and his appetite was perfectly fine when dinner was served.
Truth tested and found to be nonsense. Version of reality updated… for that moment anyway.
“And if we were to collect these small moments in a notebook and save them over a period of months we would see certain trends emerge from our collection — certain voices would emerge that have been trying to speak through us. We would realize that we have been having another life altogether; one we didn’t even know was going on inside us. And maybe this other life is more important than the one we think of as being real — this clunky day-to-day world of furniture and noise and metal. So just maybe it is these small silent moments which are the true story-making events of our lives.”
― Douglas Coupland, Life After God
Time to pass this challenge on to:
Please note, if you don’t want to participate it is totally fine.
If you’d like to do the challenge keep in mind that I did things my own way as usual, and a lot of bloggers simply share their chosen quotes without rambling like I did.
Have fun with it!
Over to you.