What is the secret life of a man? It is a life when his actions are incompatible with his thoughts. It is a life that is marred by cognitive dissonance. He is someone who thinks of one thing and acts the other. He is basically at odds with himself. He knows it. But he dares not confront it. He keeps it under lock and key. Most times, he is protecting its contents like a safe vault. This is his cellar of secrets, cold and mostly disturbing.
This is how he pulls off this duplicity of living. He over-compensates for it. He works over-time, round the clock to suppress it. He struts a taut high wire act. Against falling, he will persist in this charade of personas. He also keeps his actions and thoughts separate and apart like day and night. Never the two shall meet. His conscience may arraign him for the charge of hypocrisy. But it troubles him the least because such a conflicted life is too good to give up.
You see, to him, the man of secrets, he is merely surviving, if not thriving. Because to live successfully, at least in the way the world judges it, he needs to keep the match away from the kerosene, separating the man he is known by all from the man he knows he cannot reveal to all. He will work all his living years to keep his cover from being blown. He is like a counterspy caught in an espionage of self outsmarting self, that is, the public self against the private self.
For to let even a single soul in on his secrets, the carefully guarded ones, is too dangerous a gambit for such a man. Should the same be leaked out, that is, the secrets of what he really thinks, what he truly is deep within, the unquenchable desires, untamed lust and blind ambitions, all coming up to a frenzy froth in the darkest night of his soul, would be to lose everything he had so painstakingly built up and jealously protected.
Once his cover is blown, the world will judge him. He will be summoned to be tried for the treason against the private self. All his motives, intentions and designs, however redeemable, will be questioned, discredited and condemned. In the barrage of accusations that he faces, he would stand stark naked before the equally hypocritical masses with all his past conducts subjected to the cold forensic vivisection of the self-righteous inquisitors.
Indeed, and quite ironical, he will be judged by his peers, that is, his peers who themselves have succeeded in living thus far because they have kept their own dark secrets under locks and keys. The ugly truth is this, the world hates a mocked up public interrogation of the private self. It cannot stand facing the mirror of truth. More stringent than the rules for a child, the private self is neither to be seen nor heard.
The rule of success in this world is to live duplicitously no less. And when a man’s secrets are revealed, whether by inadvertence or by an act of honest rebellion - like a shard of broken glass from the mirror of truth - the world is shown a part of her own reflection and this reflection is a reminder of disgust to her. The world cannot stand the sight of it because it compels her to face the truth of her own duplicity.
You see, the world knows that the theatrical stage of life must be, erm, well staged. For aren’t we all actors? More importantly, it must be kept above the level of scrutiny and below the level of honesty. The stage of the self has to be layered, best obscured and kept encrypted from the public eye. If all that glitters is not gold, then the motive behind all that staged charisma isn’t solid gold either.
So the world will no doubt persecute the offender. He will be made to pay. The world will charge, convict and sentence the accused. The machination of retaliation will be methodological, impassionate, and unrelenting. The world will in fact do anything but to empathize or sympathize. And it lends credence to this saying, "you can do anything here, in this well-scripted play of life. Just don't get caught." And it is therefore implicit therein that if you should get caught, you shame us all.
So, I have no doubt gone back to where I first started, that is, the secret life of a man. But make no mistake about it, the truth about us is unsparingly ugly. It is also undoubtedly dark. This is why he who dares to show myself, his true authentic self, will be made to pay an exacting cost. His elective nakedness to the world comes with a price. His glaring vulnerability demands a sacrifice.
He will have to enter a confessional before the public to admit that his love is sometimes conditional, his charity is often attention seeking, his honesty is less than sincere, his integrity is not always untainted, his mind is often distracted, his heart rots with envy, and his thoughts are machievallian, sometimes perverse, and at most times, conflicting.
For to live a life that ceases to be at odds with itself is to live a life that is at enmity with this world. To strive to live an authentic life is to rock the boat, spoil the market or pee on the world's parade. When we take off our mask and show to all and sundry the side of us that we have kept hidden from others, we immediately shed all pretensions of perfections and veneers of invulnerability. We become what-you-see-is-what-it-is. We become an open book. We become weak. We become humbled. We become ordinary. We become different. We are set apart. We lose our ability to blend, to hide, to camouflaged, and to flock with the flock. We are labeled "outcasts of the world" because we have become true to ourselves. And the world cannot handle this truth about the truth about us, that is, the raw truth about the secret life of a man. Cheerz.
* Image taken from "smallbizlink.monster.com"