Here is a question for you today: In your opinion, how many lives do you lead at once? Ever think about it? Ever count them? Ever wonder how it all may look like to an outside observer?
What? A confusing question? Let me elaborate:
Let's say that any person, no matter who he or she is, leads at least two lives, or to be more accurate , 2 faces. One of them is a face one wears to face the civilized world, also known as your co-workers, your family, and the friends whom you care what you look like in front of. Ok? And then there is the second face, the one that yields more to our baser instincts, and is usually found inside bedrooms or dark and seedy places, with people whose actions wouldn't be condoned publicly in the civilized world. Hell, the knowledge that such a face exists is enough to ruin any semblance of a so called civilized front that you may like to project to the outside world. You know what I am talking about: The duality of man, day and night, light and dark, order and entropy. It's all been said before. Nothing really new here, right?
If only it was that simple!
I thought it was. I really did. I thought that there are only those 2 sides of you, and I thought that having one hidden while the other exposed is a form of hypocrisy. And I am no hypocrite, right? I am Mr. Honest with myself. So I figured that the best way to eliminate any accusations of said hypocrisy, and to be able to lead a healthy balanced honest life, is to let everyone see both sides. To have one leg standing in the civilized world, and the other firmly placed in the gutter in plain sight, for everyone to see, well, that's honesty. To let everyone know your sinful ways while managing to lead your so called "civilized" life, well, that's the only way to live. Freedom baby. Freedom from all the judgment, and all the bullshit. No one has shit on me I thought. And it worked. People believed it. Even I believed it. I was patting myself on the back for being such an honest with myself guy.
What a fool I was.
The problem isn't in the so called civilized world, or their judgment or their bullshit. I wish it was that easy. I wish I could just say that if it wasn't for all of those people, we would all be free to lead lives of depraved self-indulgence. I wish that was the only thing holding us back. The only thing that keeps us lying! It isn't!
Let's ignore the concept of duality for a minute and look at it from a different perspective: Let's say that there is a green field with open skies where the wind blows, the birds soars and everything is in its proper aesthetic place. Now, let's envision a cave in the middle of that field: and cave that goes downwards, and its darkness keeps you or anyone else from seeing where it ends. It could be 10 feet, it could be miles. You don't really know and you can't really tell. You would need to go down that cave, with its mazes and formations, to see how deep down it really goes. And with every step you sink deeper and deeper.
If one envisions such a cave, and thinks of it as the more instinctive part of someone's personality, their game face so to speak, one faces an interesting dilemma of perspective. What the people on the surface see, is not the same as the people peeking down that cave will see, nor is it what the people going down that cave will see. And mind you, the people walking on the field might not see those peeking into the cave, and those peeking might not be aware of those lurking in the depth, seeing for themselves what the belly of this beast really looks like from the inside. They could all be strangers who don't know each other, who never met before, who might never ever meet, yet the one thing they have in common is that they are all either looking at the cave or walking inside it. And the cave will offer a different experience for every single one of them: Some might stumble into a room filled with treasure, others might find themselves facing a chamber of horrors, and let's not forget those who along the way either break their legs, lose their ways or get crushed when- purposely or not- they cause the rocks inside to come down on them. Some find it enriching, others disturbing, and for some people it's the end of their lives as they know it.
But it's still the same cave!
There is no contradiction in that, no dishonesty, what others see is totally based on how far they are willing to explore or on the place they stumbled on in the cave. Right?
Well, yeah, technically, but the analogy is false. A cave just sits there. It may attract people who like to explore it, but it doesn't actively seek them. That's the difference at the end of the day, the active human involvement. It takes away the guiltlessness of it all. Yeah, sometimes some people will stumble upon your cave, but sometimes you will seek them out and bring them in. Some you will even entrap, luring them in with the open skies and the green fields and then have them fall head on in your cave without warning them how deep the rabbit hole really is.
And some people. Just a few people, are only exposed to a specific part of the cave and nothing else. And that's all they know, and all that they will ever know of your cave. Some may live there forever, and others may flee, but neither will know more about this place than you will ever allow them.
Now, replace the word formation with faces in your mind, and think of those cave explorers as your friends, acquaintances, lovers, fuckbuddies and emotional victims. How far had each of them gone? What do they know? Which parts did they see? And did they meet in the middle of it all? Did they interact? Did they share information? Do they know how dark and twisted you can be? How fun and freaky you can allow yourself to become? Did they stumble upon your little chamber of secrets and find a way to open the dead bolted metal door and were able to take a look to who really was in there? Would you allow them such a discovery? Would you let them in? What if they found a way in anyway and figured out all of your little secrets, lies and truths? What are you to do to them? Would you let them get away with it? Would you be scared? Or would you be relieved?
The human soul is like that cave, and our secrets and desires dictate the passageways. We allow certain people to see certain things, and yet complain that no one understands us. And the psychotic thing is, it's absolutely possible for 10 people to encounter you, to see part of you, and come out with 10 completely different views of you, all contradictory and all absolutely true. But that's their prerogative! What's yours?
You keep parts of your life hidden from the other parts, even from those whom your promised open access. You relish having hidden chambers and secret passageways where you unleash your demons on people or allow your angels to show your better self to those you deem worthy of sharing it with them. You hear the people in the different passages, all thinking they have reached the bottom of the cave, while in reality they haven't even scratched the surface. Only you claim to know how far down it goes, but even that is a lie; otherwise you wouldn't be surprised by your actions and decisions like you sometimes are. The question of "What the fuck am I doing?" is one that is familiar to you, and something tells you that it will stay that way till the last day of your life.
You take comfort in your open fields, in the fact that so many seem to enjoy them without ever stumbling upon the darkness underneath it all, where sounds of screaming dogs and dark bleeding makes the leaves on the surface richer. People always ask to accompany you for a quickfall, but you already traveled on that road and you know that holding their hands through it will only make the trip harder. Better to let the maelstrom take them in, allow them to see the sharp edges and the places where the curves end and make jewelry from the shreds around them. Let them find the unrivaled beauty in the savagery that awaits, and hope they don't get stuck in the place where the Ferris Wheel spins no more. There might be beauty in despair, but you hope that they survive the rivers of your nature and not allow themselves to be trapped in the emptiness of a figment of your truth. The truth is, you are en emotional Darwinist, looking for the fittest to survive the gauntlet that is your psyche and find salvation somewhere in your wilderness.
Until that day comes, you too, will be trapped in your cave. You don't mind it if that day never came though; you have turned it into more of a home than a prison anyway. And the metal bars and steel doors assure you now. The truth may be trapped in there, but then again, things that command the kind of price something like "Truth" commands should be. The bitter smell of your burning desire to be free, well, that just sticks on you till the day when it's finally fed comes!