This side of the eternal, the only tortured soul is the one who loves truth yet won’t abide by it.
Without truth we may certainly have our share of ups and downs, grief and sorrow, but still manage to find something that distracts our attention from the truth-sized hole inside. When we do find truth, there is a honeymoon period where everything becomes brand new; our understanding of everything dramatically changes from cloudy to clear and the emptiness we once endured disappears. We think different, feel different, act different, change the places we go, find different interests, and change our attitude toward both others and our self: our whole life changes as we adapt to the nature of truth. Then the day comes when truth illuminates an area of our life – a habit, a way of thinking, an attitude – that is not good for us but we still enjoy.
Truth is absolute, containing no contradiction, which makes it so powerful; but because of truth’s absolute nature, it also shows the contradictions within our own life – how they contradict truth. They take the form of, I know what is right but I want to do it my way – whatever the issue. The torture comes when we love truth so much that we never again want to experience its absence, and at the same time refuse to relinquish the personal vices of our old ways when truth reveals them. If given enough time, this internal struggle will tear us apart until we make one of two choices: relinquish truth or relinquish our way of doing things. Eventually we will choose one over the other because we cannot have both.
Once exposed to truth, one can never go back to life as usual because truth burns a lasting mark: like your first real kiss, like the best meal you’ve ever experienced, like how your first true love changed how you think and feel about everything, but infinitely better. You and I can turn our back on what we truly love but die inside while doing so. It is one thing to reject truth without the first-hand knowledge of what we are rejecting, but quite another to intimately know truth and in the end throw it away.
To not know truth is suffering; to know and love truth yet refuse to abide by it is torture; to know and love truth but ultimately throw it away is the ultimate death.