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Author Topic: Flamekeeping - Polyvalent Truth  (Read 1996 times)
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
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« Topic Start: August 29, 2010, 03:56:39 pm »

(I've decided I'm going to start posting my essays in this folder.  It seems more appropriate)

Polyvalent Truth

Truth comes in many sizes and flavors.  Every person has a view they think is correct and that they live by.  Every viewpoint is a little bit different, a little bit shifted.

That's not to say there aren't truths we can all agree on.  Most people can accept the truth and existence of a table, or a chair, or other solid objects.  We don't question whether or not they exist, especially right after we've just walked into one in the dark.  But the more difficult a truth is to see, the more we disagree on whether or not something is true at all.

I believe there is an underlying truth to the universe.  There is only one true answer to the question of gods, be that one god, many, none, or something so complex we have yet to even conceive of it.  There is a single answer.  I believe that someday there will be discovered a unifying theory of physics which will find a way to make quantum theory and relativity work together, though I do not know what that theory might even begin to look like.  There is an underlying reality, though it may be far beyond our ability to comprehend.  There is such a thing as truth.

This is important, so I'll repeat and elaborate.  There is such a thing as truth.  Flamekeeping denies the concept that reality is what you make of it, or that belief can completely change the world, or that we create or choose our life's circumstances, completely appalls me.  It is victim-blaming at best to say that we chose the reality we have.  The world simply is, and while our beliefs and thoughts and actions change things, it is because of how we respond.  No amount of thought makes a chair disappear.  We can do things, change things, make the world better, but we have to do it through actions and deeds.  Belief simply isn't enough.  If we want to change the world, we need to roll up our sleeves and get messy in reality.

The idea that there is such a thing as truth and reality, though, doesn't mean it's something we can comprehend.  And it certainly doesn't mean it's something we already know.  Saying there is such a thing as truth is not the same thing as saying we know what it is.  I hope that someday, if we strive hard enough, humanity as a whole might be able to grasp enough of the bits and pieces of that truth to comprehend it.  I think it's a worthy goal, and something that is well worth the struggle.  But I do not think that individuals currently have that truth, nor do I think it will ever be something that is easy for a single person or small group to handle.  Truth, whatever it is, is greater than we are.

Of what use is a truth that we cannot comprehend?  Well, at some level, none at all.  But the world does not exist for our comfort or our ease of understanding.  It exists, and because it exists and we exist we are driven to try and find that comprehension.  But reality does not care what we think of it.  It simply is.  And while striving for comprehension is good, thinking we already have it, that we already know all there is to be known, is a very dangerous trap.  We have to accept that other people have answers, too, and theirs may be more right than ours.  We have to think, not simply assume we already know.  We have to question.  We have to let ourselves grow.  The tighter we grip our own beliefs and claim them as truth, the more we close our mind to the possibilities of other truths, other beliefs.

This is not a comfortable worldview.  It's never easy to acknowledge all the things that we cannot know, all that is greater than our knowledge.  It is easier to create a box to place the Divine in and say that it is only so much and no more.  Even omnipotence is a box that limits, because then there must be explanations about why some things are not done when they could be.

Lack of knowledge is terrifying.  Admitting that we can never know it all, that there is knowledge that will probably always be beyond us, is even more so.  Every step, every piece of knowledge leads to more, not in a linear fashion but exponentially.  There is more to be learned than there is already known.  There is more than ever can be known.

This is not meant to be an excuse to surrender and admit defeat.  This is a challenge and a joy, because we can always go forwards, always learn more.  There is much to be learned, and every step can make things better for all of us if we only try to find out a way to do so.  The hard part is having the determination to do so.

We need to expand the borders of our knowledge.  It is the great challenge of our age – to keep up with what it is we are creating.  Life changes quickly.  We need to keep up and be able to see where it is we are going.  That takes knowledge, that takes courage, and that takes the ability to admit that we don't already have the answers.  We're looking for them.

We have to admit our ignorance if we ever want to learn anything.

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Collinsky CollinskyCo

« Reply #1: August 29, 2010, 04:56:54 pm »

Well articulated, thanks for sharing! 

When I'm sad, I stop being sad and be AWESOME instead.
"Let's not confuse your inability to comprehend what I do with my ability to do it."

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