At a very early age (I think it was even before I could understand or use verbal language), I somehow realized (probably through my interpretations of body language) that many of the people around me had an operating program (seen as behavior) that I needed to mimic. I somehow connected this behavior, which was actually the reflection of a particular mind set, to a means of having better survival potential. Being that I was just barely getting started in the life journey of a new identity, I knew intuitively, that doing anything I could to increase my survival potential was of utmost importance. The 'something' that I wanted to mimic was a very popular belief system…especially in America.
The paragraph that you read above is an "acceptable truth." An acceptable truth could also be called a viable lie i.e., a lie that is easily and readily accepted and believed to be the truth. An acceptable truth is an answer to a question, even if the question has not yet been asked. An acceptable truth should not contain an incredibility or a contradiction as It is meant to satisfy the question without prompting or encouraging additional questions. That noted, the paragraph above that I'm saying is an acceptable truth, because it contains incredibility, is actually a poor example of an acceptable truth. It really wouldn't be all that acceptable would it? By the way, if you were to ask someone in Fort Smith why it is that such a remarkable riverfront has, in all these years of the city's existence been able to evade land developers, and the person you were asking actually had an answer for you…I assure you, the answer given would be an acceptable truth. One that had probably been originated long ago and has been circulating through the populace of Fort Smith ever since; all the while being accepted as being a truthful explanation.
As for the very popular belief system that I wanted to mimic (and did) way back when, it is the belief that the destination, goal or objective is what life is all about. You know, that's where the "juice" is! And, for anyone who has knowingly or unknowingly adopted this belief system as their own, they know very well how it compels one to hurry up and arrive and makes sure there are undesirable consequences if one doesn't! In this belief system the journey to the destination is not assigned any worth. It's just something to get through as quickly as possible (enormous emphasis is placed on production). In fact, in the view of this belief system, it would be great if the journey could be skipped altogether. In other words, anyone who chooses to adhere to this belief system, is not going to be stopping to smell any roses along the way to their objective. This belief system, although being very popular, is quite insane and while I have been able to pull its "teeth" I have not been able to stop its most obnoxious barking. Indeed, from the instant I began writing this series it has been barking at me to race to the end and stop all this dilly dallying around with part after part after… ad nauseam. Oh does this belief system ever put on a show! Calls me every disparaging name in the book and then some. But, like I said, I pulled all it's teeth. Whether it was the row of pearly whites promising rewards for arriving as commanded, or the row of fangs promising dire consequences for noncompliance…it doesn't matter, they're all gone. Now I'm working on getting rid of the bark (some negative belief systems have incredibly efficacious defense systems).
Okay. Enough of this dilly dallying around! Let's get back to the Fort Smith experience shall we?
"The world is his who can see through its pretension. What deafness, what stone-blind custom, what overgrown error you behold, is there only by sufferance…by your sufferance. See it to be a lie, and you have already dealt it its mortal blow." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Secrets, secrets, secrets and more secrets…since tossing the subject of secrecy and secrets out onto the table in part 10, I have been on an unprecedented (for me) ongoing exploration into this topic. And what a vast topic it is! In that the topic is so incredibly vast, I'm having a bit of difficulty on what particular aspects of secrecy to address. Hmmm….well, when in doubt a good place to begin is with the basics. All right then. Let's review some previously mentioned basics from part 10 and possibly include a few more.
Note: Please keep in mind that nothing here is necessarily definitive and certainly not absolute. Everything is open to modification and revision. The goal here is workability. In other words, is a particular definition or description workable in expanding our scope of understanding with regard to the Fort Smith experience or not? If not, then it requires revision or eradication.
What is a secret? A secret is anything that is knowingly or unknowingly, intentionally or unintentionally, separated out and kept hidden. A secret is anything that is withheld from the perception of others. Secrecy is a protection device. What does secrecy protect? Its protection is twofold. Secrecy protects the truth or, what is believed to be the truth, as well as anyone or anything that could potentially be harmed in some way by the 'truth' if it were known. The "if it were known" part usually (but not always) has specific application. In other words, it usually applies to specific entities in that if they were to discover the 'truth' (the secret) the consequences could be quite awful. Therefore, the goal is to keep the secret hidden from those specific entities. Secrets are kept secret in two ways, either by silence or by stories (lies/acceptable truths) fabricated to veil the secret. It is not uncommon that the lies, repeated often enough, become accepted as being the actual truth and, obviously, this is probably the best defense any secret can attain i.e., hiding the truth in a lie that is commonly perceived as being the truth. This does give one pause to wonder how much of their life story is actually based on acceptable truths that are actually obscuring the real truth.
Why does secrecy seem to be an inherent part of the human experience? Secrecy is an experience. Experience is ALWAYS preceded by choice. Choice is determined by belief systems and at the root of every negative belief system there sits the unholy trinity of sin, guilt and fear. Sin represents the past. Guilt is in the present. And fear regards future outcomes/consequences where the probability of something being lost is very, very high. Whether the future is going to become actualized in the present moment sometime within the next nanosecond or at some point in the next millennium, makes no difference. Fear is exclusively about future outcomes that involve loss of something. Secrecy, fear and loss are synonymous. A couple of other words that go hand in hand with secrecy are lies and complexity.
Humanity, it seems, as a whole, lives in a constant state of fear. Thus, it's really no surprise that secrecy is a standard operating procedure that at the very least is as a means of staying in the game and at its best, a means of winning, at least some portion, of the game for oneself. We get our first lessons in secrecy very early in our family experience. We learn the importance, usually with some force involved, of being able to keep our little mouths shut. What happens in this family stays in this family. Then, we go to school where we make both friends and enemies and our scope and use of secrecy broadens significantly. We make many mistakes but learn from them becoming ever more adept in the art of secrecy. At some point we end off our school phase and enter the world of employment. Being an employee or an employer opens us up to a whole new realm of secrecy where the consequences of being inept in secrecy can be dire. If our choices lead to us working in some branch of government whether it be local, county, state, national or international…we had better be highly proficient in secrecy.
As I have been exploring the subject of secrecy, I couldn't help but start doing an accounting of sorts on the many secrets I keep and what a wide range of diversity they involve. I was actually quite astounded at the volume of secrets that I am keeping. As I continue this accounting of my secrets, many of which have lost any potency they might have ever held, I've been keeping an eye out for any that could possible be categorized as "sinister." While I haven't spotted any, that I could with certainty say were truly sinister, there are a few that I do suspect. For instance, in the past I have worked on some construction projects where I had to practically sign my life away in order to work on them. They were very secretive projects occurring right out in plain view but they were cloaked in many layers of acceptable truths on the inside as well as the outside. I've always wondered about what those projects were really about and who they were really for. A side note: I noticed that a lot of the secrets I'm keeping have some connection with the concept of freedom. I find that interesting.
I believe that at this point in the evolution of the human species, in the absence of being able to truly trust one another and where chronic fear, with its multitude of faces, rules the day, secrecy is a necessary and inevitable component to ensure that the species can survive, learn, evolve and finally transcend the unholy trinity of sin, guilt and fear. Side note: Personally, I consider the unholy trinity to be an ancient device designed for population control. In my estimation, it is a completely artificial construct.
I have no doubt that right now whether one is in a homeless camp, their church, their place of employment, their town or city, state or country (basically anywhere there are people), there are secrets, that if discovered could ruin lives, bring much pain an suffering and even cause people to be disappeared. Truth has tremendous power and when it is sprung from its captivity there is often an explosion of chaos that occurs simultaneously. I recall when my mom discovered that my dad had a mistress and had for several years…when that truth was revealed there was one horrific explosion of chaos that occurred! But…the dust did finally settle and it was obvious that with the secret being discovered and the truth being revealed, people were set free from an experience of pain and suffering they weren't even conscious they were bearing.
I know it is very tempting to get really interested and delve into some of Fort Smith's more obvious secrets, which. for now, exists only as mysteries without answers. But, it is a temptation I think we should resist at this time. Certainly, those secrets are a great detriment to the city and the city would, most undoubtedly, experience tremendous relief upon their disclosure. Well, probably not exactly upon disclosure but, for sure, after the dust and debris caused by the explosion of truth settled. However, that being noted, I strongly feel that we need to go earlier in the story of the Fort Smith experience. I am hopeful that by going earlier and looking at a few key items, that only very recently (with just a slight shift in viewpoint) came into view, we will be able to get a more comprehensive understanding of how Fort Smith came to be in the condition it is in today. The secrets and mysteries aren't going anywhere. They've been there for a long time safe behind a formidable screen of acceptable truths that are commonly held as being the actual truth (the perfect defense). Rest assured, we will return to take down the screens of illusion and when we do, we will have a much better and broader understanding of exactly what we're dealing with and how best to address it.
No person, place, situation, circumstance or occurrence is ever what it appears to be and that, of course, includes both you an me. It is never about what we think it's about.