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Newsletter 07/25/2014 2014/07/26

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The picture of the week
Let there be light 2

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Contents

1.Starting in the beginning… – Written by Ronald L. Riedell
2.The Sting of Death …. Written By Ronald L. Riedell

Proverb of the week

Quote of the week

Story 1

Starting in the beginning

It is through this image that enables me to tell the story of the creation.

Most importantly that I am not alone, I have a creator.

It was through creation that I came into existence and that breath in me is from the creator.

I may never fully understand how or why the creator made the heavens and the earth or why I was created or even why I am here. Just the knowledge that I am not alone is enough.

In the background of this image is a circle painted black showing the darkness displaced by the light.

The creator is hovering over the waters that have been separated from the land, holding a scroll in his hand that will be opened in the end times.

The light orb around the creators head indicates that he is the Alpha and Omega the first and the last.

This icon is the representation of the creation with many more words associated to it. Each color signifies something familiar to the viewer and helps the viewer gain entrance into the window of the spirit.

I can read the scriptures in Genesis and can clearly see the symbols in this image.

Let there be light 2

Story 2

The Sting of Death

death

As I grow older, I have come to realize that I have been living longer than I am going to live.

I am faced with my own mortality.

Most of my friends these days are in their late seventies early eighties.

Men and women, who have achieved material success, and are still well respected in their trades or professions: teachers, housewives, doctors, nurses, dentists, maintenance managers, lawyers, insurance investigators, police officers, military officers, financial advisors, painters, judges, factory workers, self employed and even a Hollywood actor.

Everyone has a story to tell, with one common end we all agree on: That we are all going to die.

It has been my experience that when you strip down to a swim suites and walk back and forth in five feet of water with only your head above water all the façades are left in the locker room and a transformation takes place.

Becoming like little kids in a park where there is no one who cares where someone lives, what race he or she is or where they worked, other than for a frame of reference to start conversations.

dryson pool

I am thankful to have experienced old age, so many do not get that opportunity.

All the pretenses and preconceived ideas seem to disappear in the water as we walk back and forth in the pool sharing our lives and ideas with each other.

In the pool I am in the moment just here and now, in eternity, being in the world but not part of it.

“Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I am thankful for the comfort my friends have given me and the comfort I can give them, the knowledge of knowing that I share a common end with them drives the fear of death away.

When I finally do fall asleep for the last time on earth, it is my hope that I will wake up in a place that words cannot describe, not by myself, but in the company of perfect love.

Proverb of the week:

Those who marry for money earn it.

Quote of the week:

Fasts and vigils, the study of Scripture, renouncing possessions and everything worldly are not in themselves perfection, as we have said; they are its tools. For perfection is not to be found in them; it is acquired through them. It is useless, therefore, to boast of our fasting, vigils, poverty, and reading of Scripture when we have not achieved the love of God and our fellow men. Whoever has achieved love has God within himself and his intellect is always with God.

Source : St. John Cassian quoting Abba Moses in On the Holy Fathers of Sketis: (“Philokalia (Vol. 1)”, p. 96)

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Newsletter 07/17/2014 2014/07/18

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Picture of the week
carrying the cross

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Contents

One image is worth 400 words or more… – Written by Ronald L. Riedell

Proverb of the week

Quote of the week

carrying the cross
Here is an icon of the “Slave carrying the cross of Jesus. The gospel story is in the bible New Testament book of Mathew.

καὶ ὅστις σε ἀγγαρεύσει μίλιον ἕν ὕπαγε μετ’ αὐτοῦ δύο

… and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
Mat 5:41

And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. Mathew 27:32

If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles.
In first century Judea, the poor were oppressed under a practice called angareia, the involuntary drafting of peasants to carry the gear of Roman soldiers.

“Compulsory Service”; any service which was forcibly or unjustly demanded, and oppression in general a service or task only grudgingly undertaken by the one forced to perform it.

The people hated angareia with a burning passion – it was a horrible injustice. But rather than attempting to resist it through violence, Jesus offers another creative form of nonviolent resistance.

If a man was forced by a Roman soldier to carry gear for one mile, what would happen if he continued to carry the gear for more than one mile? The soldier would be placed in a very awkward position. If a peasant was drafted under angareia, Roman law dictated that the solider had to stop him after one mile. If anyone found out that the peasant had continued for two miles, the soldier could himself be arrested and beaten!

Angareia is seen in the Bible when Simon of Cyrene was forced by Roman soldiers to carry the cross of Jesus. He was only forced to carry the cross part of the way, however, since the Roman government had ruled that the maximum distance a man could be forced to carry gear under angareia was one mile.

In some cases, the condemned was forced to carry the crossbeam on his shoulders to the place of execution. A whole cross would weigh well over 300 lb, but the crossbeam would not be quite as burdensome, weighing around100 lbs.

I don’t have to remember what the icon writer teaches me about events that took place. The icons are not meant to replace the written word or thought of G-d. They are intended to teach the children and illiterate about events and people that lived around and loved Jesus.

carring of the cross
Proverb of the week:
The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.

Quote of the week:
“The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God.”

– St. John of Damascus

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Newsletter 07/08/2014 2014/07/09

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Picture of the week
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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Contents

How I got started painting Icons – Written by Ronald L. Riedell

Proverb of the week

Quote of the week

Friend of the Church news Letter rev2 jpg

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Over the next few weeks, G-d willing I am going to attempt to share with you my passion for art, especially my love for Icons, their symbolism, and their place in the Church and our homes.

I am a consecrated Icon writer, blessed by the Greek Orthodox Church. What that means is I took classes in Orthodox Iconography and after the completion of the classes an Orthodox Priest said a prayer over me.

I say this for no other reason than to keep it real. I am unworthy and view myself as the least among the ones who came before me. My poor attempt to write an icon is intended to be my attempt to find G-d in my own way.

Here is the prayer that was said over me by the priest:

Glory to Thee O God, Glory to Thee.

O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who are everywhere present and fill all things, Treasury of Blessings and Giver of Life, come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

Glory to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

All-Holy Trinity, have mercy on us.Lord, cleanse us of our sins.Master, pardon our iniquities.Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities, for Thy Name’s sake.Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy.Glory to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Amen.

O Divine Lord of all that exists, You have illuminated the Apostle and Evangelist Luke with Your Most Holy Spirit, thereby enabling him to represent the Most Holy Mother, the one who held You in her arms and said: The Grace of Him Who has been born of me is spread throughout the world.

Enlighten and direct our souls, our hearts, and our spirits. Guide the hands of your unworthy servant so that we may worthily and perfectly portray Your Icon, that of Your Holy Mother, and of all the saints, for the glory, joy, and adornment of Your Holy Church.

Forgive our sins and the sins of those who will venerate these icons, and who, standing devoutly before them, give homage to those they represent. Protect them from all evil and instruct them with good counsel.

This we ask through the prayers of the Most Holy Theotokos, the Apostle Luke, and all the saints, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Icons – are written, not painted. As the Bible is the written word of God, so too, the icons are written by the Holy Spirit through the hand of the iconographer.

The iconographer does not sign icons.

Icons are meant to transform us, bring us closer into communion with God. Icons are not written for the eye; they are written for the soul. They are not meant to be physical images of the saint, but are to be symbolic representations of the inner life of the saints.

Brother Ron does not live in a monastery; I live in the world along with all of you. I feel pain, I suffer loss, and I am thankful to be alive. I write icons because in doing so they bring me closer to G-d.

Gardian Angel

Proverb of the week
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest —and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.

Quote of the week
As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.
Andrew Carnegie

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Newsletter 07/02/2014 2014/07/03

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Picture of the week
My Lawyer3
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Contents

The abstraction of mystic thought – Written by Ronald L. Riedell

Proverb of the week

Quote of the week

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My Lawyer3

The abstraction of mystic thought

Bonding with God, is the highest form of God’s service and my ultimate goal. The mystical idea to extract and elevate the Divine Nature in all things, both animate and inanimate; this is the beginning of the knowledge of brotherly love.

Brotherly Love: The command to love one another does not mean simply being nice. Rather, it means that I must constantly strive to cultivate good traits in myself, the only one I have control over. To change me, not you. This command encompasses every aspect of my entire life.

I have found a window into my soul. The symbolic window through meditation transports me into the sacred through which I can contemplate holy mysteries.

This window is sacred art or icons. Not prayed to or worshiped icons, are windows into the soul. The icon is not painted, it is written to tell a story.

In the next few weeks, G-d willing, I want to relay the beauty that I have found in the icon, what they mean, the history of the icon, and how they are written.

Copy of RRiedell 009

Proverb of the week
He who comes for the inheritance is often made to pay for the funeral

Quote of the week
A half-truth is a whole lie.

Newsletter 06/23/2014 2014/06/24

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Picture of the week
Michael walsch
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Contents

Who me, and the 22nd floor? – Written by Ronald L. Riedell

Proverb of the week

Quote of the week

Friend of the Church news Letter rev2 jpg
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Michael walsch

Brother Ron went to Las Vegas for an INFOCOMM 2014 show. The highlight of my trip was the Key Note speaker Mike Walsh, who wrote Futuretainment.

Mike was a very entertaining speaker; talking about his insights on technologies and consumer innovations. My take away from the keynote was that the future is going to be led by leaders who have used adaptive learning through algorithms and that the universal language of the future is Data.

We are now living in the mobile world of cell phones and the world wide web. The business engagement model is continually being updated by the next generation technology; not by innovators but by end users both online and offline, bringing the two worlds of online and offline together.

infcomm Alien
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While in Vegas, I was going back to my room late at night two women who in my opinion had too much to drink, about in their 30’s got on the elevator at the same time as me. Once inside the elevator, one of the women pushed the 22nd floor button, then asked me what floor I wanted, I said 23. Then she said, “Oh, you are on top of us”, and started to laugh. At that point, I was a little embarrassed and started to turn red. She asked me what I had in the box. I said,” Pizza” and opened the box to show them. Then she looked at my finger and seeing my ring said, “On darn, he is married, “then asked if she was here; I took that to mean my wife. (They both were beautiful, had brown eyes and nice smiles.)
I was placed in a situation by my own volition where temptation could have led me down the road to their room and to a situation; I would have regretted the rest of my life, for truly, what happens in Vegas, does not stay in Vegas!

I resisted the temptation of the girls, got off the elevator and went up to my room while wondering what had just happened.

I am an older man in my sixties and do not see myself as desirable. I have to confess my ego was a little puffed up by the attention. When I told my wife what happened she told me it was just a couple of girls looking for a little extra gambling money.

Whatever happened it was it was real and I was given a choice to follow my carnal desires, or turn from primordial, animalistic lust of the flesh and find my spiritual self who want to please G-d. Honestly, it was the fear of separation from G-d that kept me off the 22nd floor.

Proverb of the week

To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;
To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

Quote of the week

The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom.
William Douglas

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Newsletter 06/16/2014 2014/06/16

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Picture of the week
2014-04-29_13-42-55_372

Contents

If time is eternal, how can there be an end times? – Written by Ronald L. Riedell

Proverb of the week

Quote of the week

Friend of the Church news Letter rev2 jpg

If time is eternal, how can there be an end times?

2014-04-29_13-42-55_372

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2).

Albert Einstein said that time exists as a part of an element. In his general theory of relativity, Einstein describes time and space as a warped element.

Like Einstein, some scientists believe that speed as fast as light can alter time. Time travel, according to them, is not impossible.

Will an end of time transmute me into a new dominion? Alternatively, stop time to the point of my non-existence?

If G-d is light as presented in the scriptures and I am made in the image of G-d, then I am light as well and should therefore be able to time travel.

Brother Ron in a space ship

Nevertheless, like any primordial being I am driven by the big three: Surf, Sex, and Suds, more commonly known as: thirst, hunger, and social contact, in an attempt to survive in a world I did not ask to come to. Yet as much as survival is a game, I have an innate desire to live within the pattern set forth by those who came before me. It would be nice to transport myself into another galaxy far away, but not practical. How would I survive there?

Monkey Business - Copy

In my present life primarily through observation and fear I perpetuate my mundane existence by keeping life the same as it has always been. Rules and norms are preordained, set in place by others. Others enforce parameters for me to follow, noncompliance is to my own detriment. Experiences teach me that my noncompliance is followed by pain or retribution and bring me back into compliance to avoid pain.

As I go through life, I have come to realize that for the most part my life is insignificant to others. I am an eternal being in eternal life. Each act of mercy, each act of kindness, each act of forgiveness is what makes me like G-d. However, it is also standing up for those who cannot defend themselves, resisting evil, healing the sick, raising the dead that makes me like G-d as well.

The end times have ended for me I am in the eternal here and now. The creator scripts the stages of my life; I am where I need to be to do what I have to do. Free will and choice are all I have, decisions to fear G-d and follow his commandments is my new life. The end of time for me is not a chain of events that will destroy the earth. The end of time is the realization that I am eternal being and that I have a duty to follow the commandments set forth by the creator. If by chance the earth does end, it has been scripted already and I can do nothing to change it.

Proverb of the week
Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open your eyes, and you shall be satisfied with bread.
Proverbs 20:13

Quote of the week
“What soberness conceals, Drunkenness reveals”

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Newsletter 06/08/2014 2014/06/09

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Picture of the week
20140605_151531_resized

Contents

Fear of the Unknown – Written by Ronald L. Riedell

Proverb of the week

Quote of the week

Friend of the Church news Letter rev2 jpg

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Fear of the unknown

Mass media and social conditioning dictate my reaction to a situations. “Everyday I am bombarded with television news shows outside my sphere of influence. I have been conditioned to believe that these news stories are going to affect my life.

News stories that I have no control over. Selected world events projected in digital format that appear to be real and that create a mindless state of uneasiness and fear, because there is nothing within reason I can do to prevent similar events from happening to me.

I remember watching one such news story years ago, the moon landing . One quarter of the world’s population watched in an almost mesmerized state, astronauts walking on the moon. I myself, just a kid, believed someday I could go to the moon. In reality, I am one of 7.5 billion who will never leave the earth.

moon-landing

I am keenly aware of my surroundings , I believe as a result of my exposure to several years of media exposure where I heard about and watched people willing to martyr themselves for a cause.

Therefore, I was concerned while volunteering at the Cathedral in upstairs information booth a when woman came up to me speaking broken English, she wanted to know where she could by a phone card.

After I directed her to a local store, I went down to staff the plaza information booth . When I got there, I noticed one older suitcase and two large bags just sitting there all alone with nobody in site. I asked the other volunteer whose bags they were and he told me a woman from Rwanda that had left them there and went across the street,
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He had picked up one the bags to move it out of the doorway and told me that it was heavy. Immediately, my mind thought the worst; that there might be some type of explosives in them!!!!

To make a long story short by the time I got up to security to report the bags, the woman had returned. After the fact, I was ashamed of myself for allowing an unfounded reaction to discount the judgments of people I trust and love.

However, in defense of my reaction the treat was real; not a fiction in a movie script. There were too many innocent lives at stake to ignore the possibility that something disastrous could have happened if I did not act.

Fear and mistrust, driven by the mass media, has brought me to a point where I have became ultra sensitive to security issues, but more importantly, and sad to say I have become callous to people I know and trust.

Proverb of the week:
Nobody is born wise. ~ African proverb

Quote of the week:
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing.
Abraham Lincoln

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A Command is not Voluntary 2014/05/23

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In western thought the duty of humankind has always been to keep the commandments in the form of laws, both in nature or natural laws, and in codes or statutory laws like the Ten Commandments.

torah

In contract law an illusionary promise is sometimes called a suggestion. The one making the suggestion has no obligation or duty to follow up on what is presented.

The illusionary promise that comes to my mind is the suggestion that eating the fruit from the tree of good and evil will not harm you. I have at times been enticed my own desires; it is possible for me to imagine how easy it would be to act on the suggestion that I could live forever. Unaware that my advisor will bail and then accuse me of acting on my own volition or fee will.

A command is not volitional on the part of the recipient; there is a consequence for disobedience to a command. There is no consideration necessary for a command to be binding. Due to my status there is a duty to perform prior to a command being issued, I do not have a choice to perform, if I choose not to perform depending on the jurisdiction, it could mean unpredictable consequences.

I was thinking about G-d’s commandments. How my status as a creation subjected me to the commandments. There is no contract or agreement, I am a slave under a master slave covenant. The rules are that I must fear G-d, and keep his commandments.

My choice is either to follow the rules or suffer the consequences, just as when I was a child under the jurisdiction of my parents. My parents were under no obligation to give me a choice in anything I did. However, I learned quickly that the more I complied with their will, the more input I was given in matters that affected me. The suggestions I made were not binding, but at least they were considered.

My spiritual journey in the eternal here and now is limited by my choices. Choices I make by my own free will. I can accept the suggestion of council or listen to the voice of reason that is innate within me.

The consequences of my choices are what I will have to live with, the good choices move me closer to the spiritual well-being I desire. The bad choices bring me further away from enlightenment; they bring self-doubt, loneliness, and depression.

It is not until I learn to forgive myself and others for the bad choices I made that I begin to live again. I wake up from a self-inflicted stupor that has crippled me and left me behind those still on the path to enlightenment. I build strength by, fearing G-d, and following his commandments.

Inlightenment

Here is another little gift.

A new monk enters a monastery.
“I have just entered the monastery, please teach me“.
The elder monk asks the new monk.
“Have you eaten your rice?”

The new monk replies.
“I have.”
The elder monk tells the new monk.
“Then you had better wash your bowl.”

At that moment, the new monk found enlightenment.

I am what I am 2014/05/16

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Walking down the street in downtown Los Angeles, I fear no evil because I am the meanest son of a bitch in the valley.  (LOL) I go places few would consider safe without fear. It is not that I don’t fear because I am some badass, I don’t fear because I have come to know myself, if I project something bad happening then something bad will happen.

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If I accept what happens as G-d’s will for me, then what do I have to fear? Why fear? G-d will give me a way out, a way to resolve the situation or he will take my life, it is that simple.

I have come to realize the best defense is awareness and avoidance, I try not to put myself in situations where I need to defend myself.

What I do fear is losing my relationship with G-d. Separation from G-d is by definition hell.

All that I have come to believe about G-d and about myself is based on my perception of love. The love I have for myself, primarily my primordial instinct for self-preservation. The people in my life helped me learn love. For example:

The first love was for my mother, who through proximity and close contact nurtured me until I could take care of myself. The second love was for a girlfriend who understood me and cared about me. The third was for my wife who trusted me and relied on me for my potential strength and ability. The fourth was for my daughter who gave my life meaning, dedication, and purpose and who taught me unconditional love. and lastly the love for my granddaughter who wants to learn from me and accepts me as a friend for no other reason than I am her mother’s father.

I assume a roll in the game, son, lover, husband, father, and grandpa, which I project to them.

Who you say I am might be the projection of me through my own conduct, what I have said in the past about issues confronting me, and the dress of my culture.

I form a lasting projection of me, which I believe is me. I am becoming the person I see in my mind’s eye. A simple projection of a preconceived idea I have about me.

I know that I am the center of my universe and can never be the center of yours. I am a creating in me by choice, a person who I want you to believe is me. If you love me it is only by your own choice.

wander Brother Ron rev2 transpantcy

This is my Avatar that was drawn by my granddaughter, a virtual representation in the imagination of a twelve year old. This is who I am to her.

The New Consciousness lives in art, embodies art, is ART. 2014/05/09

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The New Consciousness lives in art, embodies art, is ART

The Game is over
The game is over

We live in the post- environmental age, there is a new consciousness coming. People are afraid of the ghost in the machine; artists are taking up cameras delivering mind bombs into living rooms of the technological society we live in. Technology and survival is the new consciousness. The Post -Environmental world Consciousness in coming to an end. It is unfortunate that the technically weak are resisting the change that will come to be without their help.

Is that truth?

What is truth?

My imagination leads me to misguided acts of delusion that harm my conscious. Because each time I act on self-righteousness (my understanding), I lose sight of G-d, forgetting I am only a creation myself, not the Judge.

As I journey through life, I have come to realize my perception of truth is only that my perception, based on what I have either experienced or learned to be true in my reality. Everyone, all 7.5 billion, have not learned the same thing or gone through the same things I have.

It is my belief that some people are offended by my saying things that I perceive to be true. Just as I am hurt or offended when I hear people saying certain things, I believe to be untrue; others are hurt or offended by me.

Sometimes I feel as if in my own mind that people hate me or do not want to be around me because of the truth, as I perceive it. My imagination carries me to a place called vainglory in which I think I am right and thankful that I am hated for the truth.

In reality, it is my own prideful nature that has through my imagination deceived me into believing that I am right that I am hated for truth.

What can I do?

Answers are never the full truth because if there is more than one it cannot be true.

My questions seem to lead down a path of self-discovery. Answers only confuse me more so if there is more than one. Who can tell me? What is truth? Can you?

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