Self-knowledge and philosophy, terms I use relatively interchangeably, are harsh mistresses. There is no perfect guarantee that once we embark on a process of self-reflection that everything from before will remain exactly intact as it was afterwards.

People struggle miserably against this fact. They struggle against their own conscience. Their conscience tells them, “This person is this, this person is that” but they suspend judgment in order to struggle it out further. People are taught not to judge. Judgment is bad! This happens to be a judgment of judgment.

People have a hard time tolerating distance in relationships because distance introduces uncertainty. People are not secure in themselves, they need the constant contact to prop them up, and cling to each other over this fear or that.
We come from people who crossed continents, didn’t see each other for years or decades, lost track of each other for years, decades, or lifetimes, and who braved unbelievable conceptual expanses in order to keep following the beat of their own Drummer. How timid a state we’ve fallen to. What a neurotic civilization we abide.

Leaving a relationship or a social circle provokes the pain of separation in us. The uncertainty is unbearable. Yet, our conscience drives us onward. We choose our judgment over their lies and manipulations. They try every which contortion to bring us back in. Still, we go.

The cost of fake relationships is we become fake ourselves. When you’re fake, you are tortured by your own hideousness and have to push the agony deep down. Here it festers into a hatred of beauty.

People who are fake are lost. They are lost to themselves and to others. They are marooned in permanent loneliness. They do not exist. They maintain haunts. Lost souls will drag you in.

The choice to step away from corrupt, lost, fake people will inevitably provoke conflict. In this conflict, the manipulator will try to get you to embody their misery and then convince you the feeling is your own. They can do this in a million different little ways or it can happen with a single, big blowup. People have unaddressed feelings of homicidality, rage, resentment, overwhelming envy, tragic abandonment, suicidality, and contempt that they will try to inject you with once you’re solid enough at philosophy and can reflect back the truth to others. Your first rodeo will be the toughest. You will learn the sting of corrupt people and you will choose better going forward, even if it means things are quiet and uneventful for a while.

People who cling to warm, empty bodies are clinging to death itself. A woman will make herself the Devil’s bride. A man will make himself the Witch’s assistant. Anything to not face the desolation and emptiness within! A life without philosophy has amounted to an empty life. Without the distraction of manipulative people, the agony ratchets up.

It is worth it. The Lonesome Valley doesn’t last forever. You will find real people, sometimes sooner than you think but more often just a bit longer than you think. Hang in there!