Tents and Pretense: Being Mutually Malicious in Our Omissions.


Some people live in tents, others in pretense. Both are homeless, but only one is honest.

Destiny inspires us to make definite claims about an infinite cause, which bequeaths higher laws. By faithfulness to it we learn to exist on a higher plane, experiencing higher gains. Success herein invokes chagrin routinely, likewise the unseemly.

Destiny uses these events to dispense wisdom and dispel pretension, which claims incredibly concerning itself. Hence the importance of boundaries. Without boundaries, claims engulf and pretension bluffs its way to our dismay and demise. Consider its contemporary guise, which breeds fake news and fatal views whose venom devours the naive.

Today everything is extreme. Seldom have souls been so gullible. Seldom has reason been so seduced until it is loosed from its mooring. In being so, pretension is more daring, defying boundaries and defiling the boundless.

Pretension errs because it confuses the boundless with a lack of boundaries instead in attempts to extend itself. Yet every age is bounded, however boundless it appears. In fact, without boundaries, ages lose their appeal. What makes them attractive is their radioactive quality, the sense that therein everything lends its support. Thus, more seems possible and much is encouraged.

Ages err, however, when possibility promotes pretension. Sustained, pretension promotes discord.

Pretension promotes discord by discounting the relationship between boundaries and the boundless. In doing so, it embezzles. Pretension embezzles by inflating its claims to gain an advantage indicative of merit. Those in its throes err by equating boundless with lawless. Thus, they act without conscience (or consent) in their pursuits.

Scrutiny reveals a deformed will bearing disproportionate weight, which hinders it from being authentically great.

Transgressors translate the phrase, “Anything is possible,” as, “All is permitted” instead. Hence their tendency to create enmity wherever they tread. We don’t have to be lawless, however, to create enmity. Consciousness suffices. Even so, a difference exists in enmity’s quality when caused by a definite commitment to an infinite cause than when caused by adolescent idiosyncrasies, which pretension reveals.

Infinite causes require commitments adolescent-transcending.

These causes consume when they occur, until we defer our interests for their aims, which only patience can discern and passion can sustain. Characteristically, infinite causes seem temperamental routinely — explosive one day and reclusive the next — in how they affect us. They seem so because they succeed by cycles, and are sustained by senses it takes time to develop. By impatience we become zealots.

Consider zealots of the zeitgeist and their heist of reason and morality. Consider how they hallow this mist and its movements to justify the recrudescence of primitive ethics. In their zeal, they depose reason and incite rebellion. They err by pretending to know what none does until it dawns. Even then obscurity deals.

Consider, for example, the pretension that results when the occult occurs contrary to their claims. Consider how herein pretension encounters its limits. Consider how zealots use limits to sensationalize effects and embellish causes whose aims engulf their own. Consider how they tender the untenable to answer the unspeakable when it occurs. Zealots exploit the occult when they should be quiet instead.

In fact, much can be said for holding our tongues, by which we hold our peace amid events too dense for sense to penetrate. Holding our tongues doesn’t mean renouncing reason when we experience the unspeakable. Reason instinctively must inquire. Inquiry illumines our narratives. But to proceed by pretense deceives reason and endangers life, especially when knowledge betrays its cause.

In this regard, pretension is precipitate when our cause is infinite and we are ignorant of its origin. Unless knowledge connects to its cause it corrupts. Consider conquering religions and political rallies, how adherents embrace tenets as sacred though they are often violent and vapid. By these tenets they hope to experience the spirit that inspired them.

Consider, however, their sterility because of their cleavage from their cause. How contrary is their character. How cunning are their claws.

How much of our regard hides contempt for their radius because of their recrudescence? How often do we seek surrogates to support our need to connect with something more humane? How ably do artists embrace this task, however restricted their role? How we look to them to renew life and remind us of its excellence. What enables them to awaken conscience to its higher functions?

These functions fail when conscience serves insipid moral assumptions, which betray our need for transcendence.

Without a sense of transcendence rooted in a definite commitment to an infinite cause, conscience forfeits its higher functions. Many people are ignorant of these functions. Their ignorance denies religion its grace and morality its grandeur. Conscience wanes instead in resolving conflicts. Some people only become aware of their conscience amid conflict. They are ignorant of its higher functions.

They don’t understand how, rightly regarded, conscience connects with imagination to create new men and new morals, greater women and grander values than before. How can these emerge unless conscience is stirred accordingly?

How can conscience be stirred when pretension prevails and ignorance prevents its awakening? How can we experience the boundless and its breadth when we deceive ourselves concerning our state? How can we create anew when we eschew definite commitments to an infinite cause uniquely aligned with the higher mind residing in each?

Why do we serve boundaries that embezzle rather than embolden us to extend our range beneficially rather than brazenly, serving absurdly? How can anything but pretension manifest and mortify? Life in a pretentious age oscillates between good and evil and its wicked anvil, which moralists use to fuse these so until conscience quits its higher functions. By their failure they forfeit its wonders.

Moralists console themselves by saying, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” They are ignorant of how this phrase stays the advent of the new by annulling conscience and its capacities. These capacities awaken when we reject pretension. Presently, however, we prefer pretension in forms that defraud our higher faculties.

Deceived thus, we reject the freedom conscience offers during moments of disgust and periods of despair.

These moments are gifts when grasped. They degrade otherwise. Grasped, however, we would see in them opportunities to renew ourselves. We would resolve therein to do deliberately what we feel instinctively to be our destiny, making definite commitments to an infinite cause. A sense of destiny is the remedy for pretension. We lack this because we lack truth as a criterion for our actions, though we pretend otherwise.

Yet how intently do we question our assumptions? How easily do we excuse our transgressions, being mutually malicious in our omissions? How often do we behave as if consequences fade when we foist resolutions reflecting public opinion and what is trending therein? How readily do we cast as courage what is actually commonsense when someone dissents despite the ire they incur?

How much do we fear exclusion when we reject collusion and the pretense that provokes? How long before we atone our error? Do we ever?


joelbryantA former corporate trainer and university lecturer, Dr. Joel Bryant is an avid reader, writer, speaker, thinker and dreamer. He is also the author of over 40 books on various topics, each exploring themes of change, growth and greatness. He holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from UNC Charlotte, where he spent five years lecturing in the Philosophy Department. He resides in Charlotte, NC.


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