Things start going badly early.
I've done better. I've seen others do better. It's not that hard.
The first thing to go is Faith. Parents fuck it up by telling kids things will be a certain way, and then reneging on it. We'll have ice cream if you're good, I'll get it for your birthday, next time, sweety, yes I'll be there when you need me, no, I won't get mad, I'll be done in a minute...
Then it's society. In school, we get punished by the authorities for other people's mistakes from an early age. Sometimes it's Johnny who didn't bring in his slip, so the ice cream party is cancelled, other times Suzy puts the tack on the teacher's chair, and he blames you. We see the police beating the people they are supposed to protect, we see the military bombing civilians, and reports of governments abusing their people, and we realize that yes, that can happen to us, and we are unsafe in our own lands because our own protectors are thugs with guns and clubs itching to use them because they are animals at best, and more often, simply monsters in human form.
And with that often falls our faith in divinity. The priests and pastors who teach a loving, righteous, just god, who also tell you you're going to hell for having sex while they themselves are pederasts. They craft anti-gay legislation, appealing to their conservative base during the day, and hire underage male prostitutes for rough trade at night. They exhort you to give for the poor, and drive convertibles and wear $900 suits. And inevitably, they are revealed to be white-washed sepulchres, having the appearance of cleanliness on the outside, yet stinking of death and corruption within.
As the faith goes, you learn to lean instead on Hope. You can't trust anyone, but you can at least build something better for yourself. As soon as you can, you'll build your own life, within the confines of the hypocrites' societal bars, sure, but you'll find a way to make it right. You'll establish your own home, a base of operations, and from there you'll change the world! And you'll find others like yourself, others who have been betrayed, but are sick of the betrayal and will live honorably to correct the wrongs that were done to them...
But first you need a job, and you can't have the job you want because you don't have the experience. You have to earn your way up. And earning your way up the food chain means learning your place. And learning your place means you understand there is always someone better than you who you'll report to, and you'll see how hard it is to get what you want, and how quickly everyone is willing to turn on one another for a promotion, for cash, so they can maybe get a leg up on their retirement plan, because they know they can't be happy while they're young, and the last chance at a little joy in life before they die is if they manage to save enough to live out their days on before their bodies fall apart.
And the system you've got to work with, it's so fucking rigged. The elite at the top are in power because they were born to it, and you see it, and you know it. There's a sham system of equality and a social lie that anyone can become rich if they just work hard enough, long enough. Meanwhile it's the same oligarchy that's ruled the empire since Rome, small families that control the land, the resources, the finances, and the power, and they and their armed forces keep 90%, leaving the plebes to scramble and fight over the other 10%. And you see this, and you know that if you won, you'd still only be winning a meager slice of the pie, and you'd be as well off as the folks who don't even try, really, so fuck it.
And as hope dies, we are left with Love. Ah, Love! In our idea of Love are mingled the last residual dregs of Faith and Hope. We can't trust people to do what they say, and we can't hope that anything will change or get better, but maybe that's true of the majority of people, and the majority of the areas of our lives that generally suck, but somewhere out there is that one person who loves us, our soul mate, the person we can actually trust to put us above themselves, the person we can build toward our dreams with, the person who will also suffer the trials and tribulations of the world, but will be there to suffer through it with us, together, a united front!
And we fall in love, and we learn it again, that we cannot have Faith in anyone, because people lie to get what they want. We cannot hope for a better future, because even our lovers will leave us to fend for ourselves, after cheating on us, after convincing us to trust them. The people we yearn to be closest to abuse us, denigrate us, hate us, and we stay with them as long as we can stand it, changing and adapting ourselves to fit together with their damage until at last there is no faith, no hope, and no love, and we are alone in a world dominated by a system designed to keep itself alive by devouring you.
Yeah. No wonder you're a cynic.
And yet, still...
Here you are, reading a blog post about Faith, Hope and Love. A post written by a guy who honestly believes that in spite of all the shit outlined above, things can get better. Because it worked for him.
Why are you here?
Because once in a while you're awake at dawn, and you just happen to be in a place where you can see the sun rising in majestically over the land where you happen to be. Maybe it's a misty valley, or a sunrise over the ocean, or the dawn over the skyline of the city, and you smell the crisp air, and you feel the heat of the rays of the sun, knowing they're already 9 minutes old, scattering as they bounce off you, and the air, and the dirt under your feet, and the trees that are eating those rays after their 93 million mile journey to you, and you feel something stir, deep, deep down inside you.
And the truth is, you damned dreamer, you never lost any of it. Your Faith, your Hope, and your Love... they're still there inside you, and that bitterness, that anger, that angst that compels you to shit on people's happiness when it gets too bad, that's the echo of these three things still striving within you, trying to get out, looking for something to anchor to in this world that has crushed your dreams.
And that's where it lies, the thing that you can trust, the thing you can hope to change your life for the better, the only person who can ever really love you, and the only person who deserves your love.
Deep inside you. Inside you. You. You. It's watching and processing events, it has no attachment to any of it. That all comes later. It sends signals out, and you build your life around these signals, feeding it the experiences that result from your attempts to find happiness.
Who is it? What is it? Why is it here? What does it want? Why does it Love? What does it Hope for? How can it still have Faith after all its seen?
Answer that, and you'll find the thing that fulfills every bit of Faith you have in it, manifests your every Hope, and returns your Love so fully you'll have more than enough left over to share with the weary world you find yourself in.
My answers, they came from Hermetics. That's the path I teach and preach. It works really well, for me, and for those like me. It cured my cynicism, healed my bitterness, and cast out all the pain and misanthropy I'd managed to accrue.
Well... most of the misanthropy. There are still far right conservatives that occasionally piss me right the fuck off.
But these days it's because I happen to know for a fact that we can do better.
Whosoever therefore shall know himself, shall know all things in himself; especially he shall know God, according to whose Image he was made; he shall know the world, the resemblance of which he beareth; he shall know all creatures, with which he Symbolizeth; and what comfort he can have and obtain, from Stones, Plants, Animals, Elements, Heavens, from Spirits, Angels, and every thing, and how all things may be fitted for all things, in their time, place, order, measure, proportion and Harmony, and can draw and bring to himself, even as a Loadstone Iron - Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Book III, chapter 36
I've done better. I've seen others do better. It's not that hard.
It's a process. Love yourself, that's the first step, love yourself because you're amazing and the best you this planet's ever seen. From there you pick up a little hope, as you learn how awesome you really are. You're an image of God, you've got resources you never learned about, power you haven't tapped that people tied into the system can't imagine, let alone control. You can change things, and achieve the goals you hoped for. You're a representation of a divinity that can't fail the way others have failed you. You can have faith in your skills, faith that is proven in the results that come in as short a time period as two short weeks. It's not impossible.
It's quite simple, really.
Start here at this link with the Neo-Platonic Basics. If it makes sense to you, congrats, you're one of us, the elite, the folks who get to be magicians in the Hermetic Tradition.
And if it doesn't make sense, then by all frickin' means, find something else. Because you're beautiful, and you deserve better.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. - The Apostle Paul, I Corinthians 13: 12-13