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Thursday, November 30, 2006

No, seriously, I am telling the truth.

There is a scene from a Hollywood movie called " A few good men" that I love. The scene embraces a confrontation between a Navy lawyer (Tom Cruse) and a Marine Colonel ( Jack Nicholson). The lawyer is trying to get to the truth of an event. As the confrontation heats up the Colonel yells " You can't handle the truth."

This scene is very powerful to me. I can relate to it on many different levels. Whats is truth? I have been told that truth is relative. Truth is based on our individual perceptions. Maybe that is correct, to a point. I think somewhere, somehow there must be basic truths that we all see as the same; but what are they? We (humanity) tend to turn to science for many of these basic truths. Often times we later learn that science was guessing (hypothesizing) to start with. But what about those truths that we sense inside of us but can't touch or see? Truths, like knowing the presence of danger or evil. I think that after thousands of years of layered deceptions, many truths have been so covered up that we may never know them.

How is it that we tend to get stuck on our version of the truth as we see it and shut out all other possibilities? How can we be so arrogant to think that we have enough knowledge to define what is true or not? We get caught up in our version of life, quarrel with anyone that presents a different picture, and storm off without gaining any insight from the encounter. Surely we can not be so fragile, so weak in our beliefs, so afraid to find out that we are wrong that we ignore truths right in front of us. If we (humanity) ever intend to grow into any form of "new enlightenment" the first basic truth we should come to is that we do not know what is true! Suspect everything, test everything and hold on to that which is good.

Another universal truth I think exists is this, for me to find the truth, I need other's perceptions of the truth. Maybe together we can see the whole which eludes me individually. If we are ever going to really pursue such efforts as the discovery of truth, we need to quite being our brothers enemy and learn that diversity has a very powerful place in this journey for truth. Our differences becomes our strengths! Our strengths will cast light on the constant ebb and flow of good and evil , and we may one day, wisely, commit to where we stand in the choices of right and wrong.


Anonymous said...

My comments are worded as if they are fact, but are just “my truths” and they are correct at this point in my life “for me” and I am willing to accept that.

I think that the initial article is in itself a hypothesis, of course that is obvious, and a hypothesis is the method in which scientists and other intellectuals move their thoughts to the next level, whichever way that turns. We too make these hypotheses daily about people, or at least I do, and I think others do too. My truth is “my truth” and may not be the same as another’s. Whether or not we decide this trait is derived from nurturing or environment, we may never have the ability to do what you suggest; but, I do think that we can be conduct ourselves in satisfactory or unsatisfactory ways regardless of our beliefs/nurturing/environment, whatever. And I mean “whatever” with distain, it just does not matter how we obtained this information in our brains, we as mature people should act accordingly.

I suggest that our environments dictate how we feel about our surroundings and that we learn this most during our younger lives, or at least this is the period I believe affected me the most. This can have positive or negative results because of the stereotypes that we have about others; predispositions based on what we have learned during our lives. I have seen race riots, been victim of them and I have seen people treat people in terrible ways. I ask, “Should I go out shopping alone today or take one of my friends with me?” If I were born in the Midwest I would suggest that our farm might not have locked doors. When I was young, we did not lock the house door. Now though, I seriously consider where I go and if I should travel with a friend for safety; the house door is always locked now.

My truth is that I should distrust at times for my own safety.

I don’t think that this is exactly what you are suggesting in your discussion, but I use it as an example. I do not think that we will ever reach that level of “enlightenment” that you have suggested, although it would be nice. I am going to be content to do what I can. I cannot do it all, and I will not set that goal. If I teach school each Sunday and were to help one person, I could be satisfied … but just until next Sunday.

When I was about 6 years old I watched a large man dig a deep trench across our street in front of our house; back then most of the streets in our down were unpaved dirt roads that were sometimes oiled. He was a nice man and I gave him water. He spent most of the day, not working fast, but digging, taking a break periodically, and digging a little more. It took all day to dig that trench across our street, but he did it. Every once and awhile part of the trench wall would fall in and he would have to dig that out too and continue his progress. He finished the trench, but not without some cave-ins along the way. Yes, I will be content with my truths, but I will be tolerant of other people’s truths which I may not ever understand, or even want to understand.

I think I like your comment in another article “What is the Right Answer” about having the right question. I think I will steal that idea from you; but, I think it will be hard not to have the answer each time and let the other person solve their issues. This will take some conscious effort each time.

I think your writing is utopian and I do not think that It will ever occur, but wouldn’t it be nice. Even though, I do think that we can get closer to that goal than we are today.

Each Sunday I plan to be there.


Talking Bear said...

Anon or Ann, Thank you for your post, I like the points you brought forward. I have a few questions for you if I tenderly may.

"we as mature people should act accordingly" Where, or from whom did we learn how to act accordingly? What if others do not have that someone in their life, how will they learn the same "rules" as us?

About your comment "This will take some conscious effort each time" Is this not a seed of the "utopian mindset." The becoming aware or conscious of something is a form of enlightenment, is it not?

Once again, I really liked your comment, thanks for reading and sharing my own journey!

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