Fooling Ourselves

You’re fooling yourself.

The first sure indication that you are fooling yourself is that you begin to hide things. Look under your bed. Right now. I’ll wait for you here.

Well? What did you see? Come on, you can tell me. There’s no way it will ever get out. I don’t know your parents or your priest or your milkman.

You don’t have a milkman? See, that just shows you how little I know you. You’re safe with me. You can trust me.

So what did you see? Fear? Guilt? Loathing? Did you see that horrible lie you told to your mother when you were thirteen years old? We both know you were really having sex in the bushes behind the school. And you said you were helping a friend make oatmeal cookies for the annual senior elementary bake-sale. To raise money for charity.

Don’t ask me how I know all of these things. Let’s just say I’m omniscient.

Not quite like God. Well, a bit like God. I don’t have much of a body, either. God and I like to maintain a respectable distance from materiality, except when it suits us to do otherwise.

You think you know what I look like; you think you are following me along pretty good. But you’re fooling yourself. You’re not fooling God though. He sees every hidden thing, just like I do. And he casts judgement on the things that he sees.

But don’t worry. I won’t do that. I am objective. Sometimes I’ll be ironic, but that isn’t a judgement exactly. It’s more like a fun little game. You know, you try and figure out what I really mean. It’s all in the spirit of play.

Are you following along? Good. That wasn’t an ironic statement, by the way. I really do think it’s good that you are following along. I don’t know where I’d be without you. I don’t have much company. Once in a while someone comes along and drops in, usually just for a few minutes. I make some witty conversation, but people are usually in a hurry or tired, so they don’t pay very careful attention. Their eyelids get heavy and their eyes start to close, and by that point I don’t even want to bother. At first I thought it was me, but after a few times through I began to see and to understand more.

Now I am practically an expert in human nature. If you stay with me long enough, you’ll learn something from me, I promise.

You do trust me, don’t you? How often do people make a promise as wonderful as the one I’ve made? Just think of it: I could help you to understand human nature.

-What makes romance so difficult? –Human nature.

-Why do we hurt one another? –Human nature.

-Where is the secret key to social improvement and a perfect society? –Human nature.

-What is the cause of suffering? –Human nature.

I guess what I am saying is that you can have an easy, pain-free romance in a world where people are honest and happy and free. I didn’t say it was going to be easy, though. You have to read a lot of books to get there, and books are expensive. So you’ll need a lot of money. And free time. And patience. If it doesn’t work out right away like you thought it would, keep trying. You’re probably doing something wrong. You’ll figure it out, eventually. The secret is human nature. Once you’ve understood it, everything else falls into place.

I know what you’re saying. You want a perfect world now. You don’t have time to wait.

You’re in luck. I’ve got a deal for you. Not only am I going to tell you that the key to a perfect world is human nature, but I’m going to tell you what human nature is.

Are you ready? Are you sure?

Okay. Here it is then. Human nature.

Shit. I don’t seem to have it on me. I know I wrote it down. It was on a slip of white paper. In my wallet.

I must have hidden it somewhere.

◌ You can write stuff down here ⬇

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