A Life Without Illusions

I come across many quotes in the course of my reading. I can’t remember where I got ‘A life without illusions’ from, but it has stayed with me. Another powerful quote is, ‘All of the significant battles are waged within the self.’ I find myself thinking about these things at 5 in the morning, having had a somewhat sleepless night. I haven’t been able to eat properly in the last 12 hours, and this is due to a stunning revelation that has turned my world upside down.

I almost cried, for what happens to your psyche and innocence when you discover a deep, dark secret held by someone close to you? How do you proceed after the veil has been lifted, the curtain torn and you can see what lies underneath? Knowing that humans (including yourself) have secret, embarrassing habits is one thing. Actually relating that to someone you know is another thing altogether.

A life without illusions. It sounds rational and wise to want to live such a life. To dismiss people who believe that ‘ignorance is bliss’. It sounds logical to know exactly what you’re dealing with, instead of holding false beliefs that may have been truth at their conception, but have now been debunked. However, there is a loss of innocence when faced with stark reality. There is the loss of security when you can’t rely on fate and the balancing of the scales when there is no arbiter to do so.

A life without illusions is touted to be the best thing you can hope for. For it means freedom from the golden handcuffs of false ideas and notions about people and institutions. But have you seen the other side of the coin? The pain that you will have to deal with when you have removed the safety net installed for you.Having to overcome with natural human fears and emotions and having to construct a moral code from scratch using a solid foundation that can withstand a philosophical test. Jumping from one fire to the next in the struggle that is life, making the best use of the resources you have and hoping for happiness in a world too full of sorrow and other miserable things.

In the end, after a prolonged struggle, I know that this knowledge makes you stronger, more resilient. But boy does it hurt!


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