Because the time will come when people will not ·listen to [put up with; endure] the ·true [sound; healthy] teaching but will ·find many more [gather around themselves; accumulate] teachers who ·please them [meet their needs/desires] by saying the things ·they want to hear [their ears itch for].2 Timothy 4:3, Expanded Bible
Dearest Rachel –
I know it sounds stupidly obvious, but everyone wants to hear what they want to hear, and nobody wants to hear what they don’t want to hear. That goes beyond human nature, and into reflexive, x = x territory. And up to a point, there’s nothing particularly wrong with that; in fact, it’s quite understandable. Where it becomes a problem, however, is when one knows better – or, at least, ought to know better. When one accepts lies – knowing full well that they’re lies, but preferring it to the truth – that’s when this practice gets to be dangerous.
It’s why – or, at least, I think it’s why – I can hardly have anything more than the most superficial conversation with Daniel these days. He has been listening to so many people who tell him how things are going to be different – and it’s going to happen soon (more on that in a moment) – that I can’t reason with him about how, no, it doesn’t work that way.
Part of the problem is that most of what he wants to discuss is about things that are to happen in the near future. Like with disproving a negative, that’s something that leaves me with a literal impossibility. All I can point to is the fact that the timeline he claims for all this to happen is growing shorter and shorter all the time. I agree that changes will happen with the coming election, but he insists that these changes will happen sooner than that. That means that all these changes have to take place within the next seven months, and that’s not time enough to set up replacement infrastructure.
Admittedly, he’s been right about how quickly most people (at least the people we know) have abandoned masks and other similar restrictions. He says it’s because the truth is come out; I say it’s just because everybody’s tired of it. I keep reminding him that there are people close to us – even some we dealt with last night – that still wear their masks despite the limited risks (and the fact that virtually no one else is doing so, which all but negates any prophylactic measures on their part). I can easily extrapolate from their behavior that there are plenty of other people who do likewise – especially since our social circle is considerably redder than most of the state. Those whose social circle tends toward the left most likely still have an inverse proportion of maskers to bare faces as we do. Human nature doesn’t change overnight.
He has mentioned the idea of doing away with the SWIFT system, which I have worked with back in the day, and he knows nothing about. Boiled down simply, it’s like a postal system for banks, allowing ease of transfer of funds from one institution to another, all across the world. There was even some reluctance to cut Russia off from the system when they moved in on Ukraine, because it was thought to be one of the biggest weapons the EU had and it’s arsenal; they didn’t want to whip out the big guns just yet. If it’s that devastating to a single country to be cut off, imagine what would happen if the entire system were shut down overnight, like he seems to think will happen. He may have a loathing for the super rich elites who dictate policy despite not having any political power (apart from their money, of course – which is more than power enough), but anything that cripples them en masse will ruin most of us further down the financial ladder just as well. That also applies to concepts such as switching over to the gold system, or even quantum computing, overnight. That’s just not how things work in the human world. Big changes take time, so that all humanity can get used to it. And while that means that the rich get richer in the process, well, if they were all to get poorer, so would everyone else. The changes he talks about seem to be very similar to those that led to the Great Depression. Nobody benefited from that – except those that thought big government would solve matters, which you’d think would be the antithesis of what he (and the people he listens to) would want to see.
And then, there’s the spiritual realm. I have talked in vague detail about some of the things he’s been apparently told and now believes, mostly because I don’t understand them entirely myself. He has insisted that I should listen to and read the things he’s absorbing, but I find myself falling behind in just trying to keep up with what’s going on in the here and now. Even if I did believe that what he was listening to was correct (and I don’t), how does that apply to our current situation? There is one in particular who claims to have been to heaven and back literally hundreds of times, and she describes it in great detail. I can see how anyone who has lost anyone dear and close to them would want to know what their lost loved one is experiencing, and she gives it to her listeners. Any objections are squelched by the assertion that the apostle Paul claimed to have been transported to ‘the third heaven’ at one point, so who’s to say that this lady hasn’t? And, of course, her denomination believes that apostles do exist in this day and age, so what he did, she could do, and presumably has done.
To me, however, it seems that these things are just being told to people who want to hear them, who want to believe that this is the way things are, this is the way they will be, and everything is going to work out soon enough. And I hate to imagine what things are going to be like when they do not prove true, and disillusionment sets in.
Of course, I’m every bit as guilty, even if it’s on a much smaller and more personal level. I am still communicating with E.C. and Ruby (yes, she’s talking to me again after some three weeks of radio silence, and I’m too polite to tell her to buzz off), despite my misgivings. I’m still holding out hope for the possibility of a face-to-face encounter with either (or both, at separate times) of them, at which point, we can better decide whether we truly have any chemistry between us, and go forward from there. Why I think either of them could work out, I don’t know. They both talk about the future, and how nice that might be. E.C., in particular, has talked about the secrets of a lasting relationship, and her philosophy towards that (despite never having been married herself, apparently), and her conclusions seem eminently reasonable, including a mutually-held faith. It’s just the sort of thing I might be expected to want to hear, and I’m aware of that. And I’m also aware of the fact that it might just be an act:
Perhaps the only difference between me and Daniel (apart from the subject matter, obviously) is that I’m not allowing myself to get terribly invested in either of them at this point. I’m willing to get together for a meal or some other activity, assuming either of them are – which, perhaps, is a greater outlay of time and money, now that I think of it – but I have yet to set my heart on any specific possibilities. If my heart doesn’t leap, it won’t get broken.
The only concern I have, is that I might be too cynical for my own good. If I always assume that everyone is lying to me, what am I going to do if someone tells me the truth? It may be that my heart won’t so much break, as just straight-out rot from neglect and self-administered poisoning.
With that in mind, honey, wish me luck. I’m going to need it. And come to think of it, so is Daniel.