In the time and space where we are falling towards our inevitable impact with the ocean surface, we need to take a look at some things that may appear to be random but, I assure you, are not.
Even though, we are rarely mindful of what we're thinking or cognizant of how our thoughts determine our physical experience, in every nano-second that passes, the idea of confronting a mental illness is far more intimidating than the idea of confronting a physical illness. Perhaps this has to do with our notion that when it comes to treating a physical illness, the process is tangible and chances for a viable repair are more probable than when it comes to treating an illness that is of the mind and not tangible. In other words, we know that it is easier to repair a broken leg than it is to repair a psychotic mind. The enduring outcome of a repaired broken leg is predictable but the enduring outcome of a seemingly repaired psychotic mind is not. And that unpredictability plays a big part in what scares us. Whenever (and I'm making a generalization here, of course, there are exceptions) we perceive mental illness in another we are frightened and consciously or unconsciously, we will physically and mentally withdraw ourselves from that person to some degree.
At the end of Part 7 it was stated: "The city of Fort Smith is ill but the illness is not physical it's mental. This illness, being a mental illness, cannot be remedied by treating the physical. In other words, better roads, better landscaping, better sidewalks, adding museums, water parks, events etc., will not heal what's wrong with this city." Even if it is intimidating, I think the time has arrived when we should prepare ourselves to venture into the shadows of the city where, I suspect, the source of Fort Smith's psychosis will be discovered. The 'shadows' represent the hidden, self-sabotaging, destructive mindset of Fort Smith. When it comes to looking into the shadows it is common that people would prefer to stay away rather than venture in as they find, even the thought of doing so, to be personally threatening. This common aversion to peering into the shadows makes for a most efficacious safeguard for the psychosis that resides there. And, because the physical experience that is manifested by such dark thoughts is often times so incredible, incredibility also plays a protective role in effectively maintaining the existence of the psychosis. People easily reject the incredible without giving it any credence. It's too incredible to believe even if it's perceived. But rest assured that from out of the shadows some really scary, bizarre and incredible behavior takes tangible form within the physical experience.
Fort Smith has a social veneer where life is mild and friendly. Upon this very thin surface is where the charm of the city exists and can be quite inviting. On the surface people can be genuinely kind and gentle with one another, share trust, be happy, cooperate, collaborate and optimistically dream of an even better tomorrow. The social veneer is the experiential reflection (the physical reality) of the city's collective positive belief systems. This is what people like to talk about and promote to others. But, like I've mentioned, the social veneer is a very thin surface and it does not take much to break through it. When a person or group does break through the veneer they immediately come into contact with a lighter gradation of Fort Smith's psychosis. This is where the "But" reality of Fort Smith makes its appearance. At the point of breaking through the social veneer the person has entered the proverbial "rabbit hole" and from here on out no one or nothing is what it appears to be nor is anything ever really about what it seems to be about. Everything in the rabbit hole is hidden behind multiple veils of deception. The concept of hope, for example, in the rabbit hole, is a viable veil of deception that is SOP (standard operating procedure).
For a while after I was again living in Fort Smith, my friends from where I had resided prior to moving back would ask me what it was like living here. I would tell them that it was very strange living here. That it was as if I had somehow entered a different dimension where, even though things appeared to be typical in comparison to any other comparable city, they were not typical at all. The overall mentality here was incredibly fearful. I told my friends that Fort Smith was a city that obviously had a lot of secrets to protect, and, even though I couldn't exactly put my finger on it, intuitively, I was perceiving something very sinister here. I have heard some refer to it as "the gray arm" of Fort Smith.
We have made impact with the surface of the ocean and the force of impact has plunged us below the surface. It's now time to trade in our raft for a submarine. See you in part 9.
Cheers ~ a Pilgrim