He distracted himself from the truth. It wasn't that the truth was too terrible
to bear. It wasn't that the truth made him think things he didn't want to think. It was that the truth was too boring.
The same room greeted him every morning. The same light from the same sun. The same roads lined with the same trees
. See the same thing enough times, and his mind couldn't help but venture away from the monotony.
So what else was there besides the truth? Everything that was not true, of course. Visions of the future that could not happen exactly the way he imagined. What were the chances, after all, of anything happening the way he predicted? All he could do was guess
. All he could do was lie to himself about what he thought was coming. The weather could be too hot. He might run out of vegetables.
If he wasn't concerned with impossible predictions, he was busy misinterpreting the past. His friend must have been angry because of something he said. There was no way to prove that, yet he would rehearse all possible ways the people in his life could be angry
The roads, the sun, the trees, he had seen those so many times, they no longer held his interest. There was no challenge
learning or discovering anything about them.
If there was no challenge, he would challenge himself. He introduced new problems
to think about, and came up with long lists of possible solutions. It was an interesting, and sometimes even exciting, pastime. Was everything he had safe and secure? If not, what could he do to protect them?
He moved beyond the layer of raw truth, into the area of inferred truth. Nothing could be taken at face value anymore. It looks like a cup, so chances were, it is a cup, but if the cup were to disappear, he would rack his brain trying to understand why it disappeared. There was no way to be sure if any of his conclusions were correct, but because they were the result of a great deal of effort
, he would value those conclusions more than their underlying truths.
So he would lose himself in analyzing the past and predicting the future. Meanwhile, the life he was actually living would pass by, as if he were wandering in a fog, unable to see
what was actually around him. Instead, only the images his head was imagining surrounded him, most of which were not real. Most of which were wrong.Years went by like that
before he realized he wasn't living his life at all. He was living an imagined life that was only loosely tied to reality, and that imaginary world wasn't even particularly enjoyable.
He decided to pull himself back. Pull himself out of the illusion
. It wasn't easy at all.
All those years spent dreaming up the fog around himself, meant the behavior had become automatic
. Lose his focus even a little, and his thoughts would drift away from the truth again, drift away into only imagined possibilities, while the truth around him went by largely unnoticed.
What was it like to really experience life again? Feeling the temperature while listening to the ambient noise while noticing the positions of everything around him. Living the experience that existed only in his imagination
could never compare to the real thing. Yet he had wandered off his original path after the novelty wore off. He needed to find a way to break the monotony, to remove the temptation for his thoughts to wander away from reality again.
He wouldn't be able to truly experience his life
until he did.