Friday, 11 December 2009

Modern honesty

There is a topic that has been on my mind for years now, that I wouldn't mind discussing here: the "difficulty" of being honest, and the sliding scale of "honesty" so prevalent today. Maybe this is the way it has always been, so there is no statistical change in the amount or degree of honesty in modern life, but whatever the numbers might be, there are a lot of liars out there, even among people who are "honest." Why is it so hard to tell the truth?

I'm thinking about this right now because I just ran across an old article about Harsh Realm, a TV show based on a comic book I made with writer James Hudnall back in the early '90's.
This article reminded me of the whole sordid story behind the show, where Chris Carter, vaunted producer/creator of the successful X-Files TV series, first optioned our comic book, then exercised the option and made a TV series out of it. He did this through our publisher, and arranged with them that James and I would not receive any credit on the show. We also got such a tiny fee from it that I wouldn't have noticed the difference if we hadn't been paid at all. Regardless, when we sued Fox about this lack of credit, Carter had to make a written statement and sign it. It was full of obvious lies, all designed to protect his reputation. Ditto for a letter written by an official from the Writer's Guild to support Carter. These were not statements that could be interpreted in one way or another, but deliberate false statements, easily proven to be false. The judge said as much in court, and that was the end of their defense.

At other jobs, I saw the same kind of thing going on, but worse: at one company, the president gave himself and several others a total of a one million dollar bonus, without authority to do so. At another place, escorts were hired as "producers", and then at another office the Army was defrauded on a simulator project. Outside the business world, my wife's aunt stole her father's fortune after getting him to unwittingly sign over control to her. A couple of good friends had similar things happen to them in their families, and then of course there is politics and every other place where nefarious behavior takes place. What is going on here?

Lately when I think of these things, I think of Ramjon Bomjon, the so-called "Buddha Boy". He has been meditating for months or years in a pipal tree to create a kind of fountain of peace and truth for the world because, as he says, the world needs it. What would the world be like if everyone was honest? How different would it be? The Torah, in Isaiah and Zechariah, talks of a "city of truth" when God returns to Earth. The paradise, when God returns, is first described as his abode, next as a place of truth, as if truthfulness is its most important quality after God's presence there.

I have two dreams that deal with this directly. In the first, from June 21, 2005, God tells me he is going to return to Earth and that when he does, he will establish a holy city of truth. This was my first knowledge of that term. Only later was I shown the precedent for it in the Bible. The next occasion was more interesting: about a month ago, I had a dream where I looked up and saw the leading edge of God's aura descending to Earth. When it touched me, I blacked out. I came to four months later, and in that time, a great deal had changed.

God had established his city of truth, and it was a holy place. Everyone in the entire world knew he was there, and knew where the city was. Everyone was aware that in the city of truth, it was indeed a paradise, free of the evils of ordinary human experience, and governed by God. Only those who were expressly invited could enter the city, and all others were physically prevented from getting near to it.

The people who did not live in the city, who had not been invited, had some idea what it was like to be inside the city, and ached to be there also. There was a strong overall desire among all the people's of the Earth to live in God's city of truth, but hardly any of them were honest enough, or strong enough, to warrant an invitation. They could earn an invitation, but most thought it was too difficult to do, so they were resigned to living outside the city of truth, always longing for it, never experiencing it for themselves, like so many serfs in the fields surrounding a walled fortress.

Because every honest person had been brought inside this city, there were no completely honest people remaining outside the city. This reduced the overall level of honesty there to much below what it had been. Now it was every man for himself, and every man was a liar to one degree or another. In this mess I found myself, and was determined to make my way to the city of truth. I started on my way, but it was hard going because to get there, I had to make my way through places made dangerous by the withdrawal of honest citizenry.

Why would anyone allow themselves to fail in their duty to be honest when this was the reward? I wondered. I spoke with one woman about this, and she merely stated that it was "too hard" to meet the standard. She would live the rest of her life, and die, with all the hardships endured by her lack of strength in this area, and every day wish she had the strength to overcome it because she ached, not just to live in the city of truth, but to be honest.

How many people want that for themselves right now, but don't know how to do it, or think it is beyond them?


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