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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie (jlh @sail7.com)

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Friday, April 29, 2011

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Truth isn't True. Reality isn't Real.


It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble.
It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
- Mark Twain (attributed)

Truth isn't True. Reality isn't Real.
- jlh


We have language. We have tradition. We have cultural and community norms. But we have neither truth nor reality.

I make the bold assertion that EVERYTHING we do and EVERYTHING we believe is a result of what we have observed as children and observe in our family and community!

If you had been born in the Mid-East, there is a very high probability that you would be very sure that Islam was the one RIGHT religion. If you lived before Einstein, you would be very sure solid matter was solid (rather than being mostly empty space and several kinds of energy, as we now know). If you had lived 500 years ago, you would know for sure that the earth was flat and stationary.

If you were born in 2300, I can't even guess about most of what you would know for sure, but without doubt, you would consider those people who lived in the early 21st century to be very ignorant and superstitious.

So what now? Assuming that you take my assertion seriously, what can you do about it? You can't gain access to science that hasn't yet been discovered. You can't begin to live in ways that are dramatically different from the accepted norms in your community without severe consequences. What can you do?

What you can do is to begin to question even the most fundamental assumptions you have about life and living. Do this not necessarily with an eye to changing how you live, but simply as a learning experience. Examine where your assumptions come from. And then consciously choose to accept the cultural norms - or not.

Read more at Perspective on Tradition: An Open Mind

4 comments:

ANIL KUMAR said...

"Yesterday's truth has become a lie today and today's truth will become a lie tomorrow. Slavery is no longer tolerated in almost every part of the world. Homesexuality is now accepted as normal. No-one in his right mind will call Nelson Mendala a terrorist even though he spent decades in jail under that charge"

Anil Kumar said...

It is not the drunk in the gutter, but the one who gives him a helping hand who may be the real alcoholic. We must learn to look beyond the tip of our nose - in the distance where the two sides of the road appear to come together is where the truth lies, where the illusion of apparent reality is shattered.

The sun cannot be where you are pointing, only its image.

Brenda Coughlan said...

Ones own experience is their truth and when they have been a survivor of brutal sexual crimes - that is truth - when some one is raped - that is their truth and the truth of those around them - truth is not an illusion - someone who has been raped and with evidence is not an opinion - find definition of truth and some quotations a little disturbing - young mothers who had their newborn babies stolen during birthing process to fulfil the needs of those who could not produce their offsprings - that's the mothers truth and in years to come the truth of the stolen son/daughter - not where the illusion of apparent reality is shattered - because truth lies in pain grief and loss

Jonathan Huie said...

Thank you Brenda. What you say is highly meaningful, and I don't disagree with any of it.

Some additional thoughts , though...

1) As I often remind my readers, each day's quotes are intended to provoke thinking about a subject, rather than to provide ready-made answers.

2) A person's experiences ARE TRUTH to that person. That is in no way contrary to the quotes above.

3) To come closer to the issues that trouble you: Only a few years ago (and still true in some parts of the world), rape by a husband did not exist. The TRUTH for those people was that a husband owned a wife and could do whatever he wanted with her.

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