“The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest; but the myth — persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.

~John F. Kennedy,  at Yale University, 1962

This is one of my favorite Beauty practices.  In part because it has a certain shock factor for some people first hearing of it and I can be mischievous.  But mostly because it is a constant practice for me.  It is a constant challenge to my daily operating assumptions.  (My “doa”s??  Hmmm).

I don’t really believe in “truth” as I understand adherents of Science and the Age of Reason to use/define it.  I find truth to be relative, subjective.  This shocks my fundamentalist friends — whether they be vegan, Christian, Scientologist, or Democrat… .

A man of science who I heard speak once revealed that he and other scientists and researchers held a particularly skeptical attitude towards scientific theory:  “SAFN,” an acronym for Somewhat Adequate For Now.  To wit:  inquiry into a realm of the largely unknown (say, quantum physics or deep space) would go on until an apparent pattern or story began to form from clues and evidence that was gathered over a period of time.  Said story was then extrapolated into a probable scenario and, with a certain amount of agreement among the parties involved, deemed a bona fide “theory.”  The definition for theory is “speculation, assumption, conjecture.”  Left unchallenged by new or different speculation, assumption, etc., said theory starts to be assumed “truth” by the general public, and SAFN by the scientific communty.  Often it is the very longevity of a theory that seems to be their proof.   Think Big Bang Theory or the Theory of Relativity.  Once it was the theory that the sun revolved around the earth…or that the earth (clearly!) is flat.  You get the idea.

So what is true?

The concept of truth is, actually, very useful.  It helps create our shared reality, core ethics and intent.  However, the universe is expanding as it must, including all the dogmas, doctrines, “truths” that have gone before, are currently in vogue today, and those truths that are awaiting our discovery of them.

Currently we live in the Age of Reason, Logic and Science.  I hold that in some ways it is the Dark Age of Reason and Science in that it disallows so many other ways of knowing.  Specifically “gnowing.”  Gnowing?  Many indigenous cultures take for granted inner knowingness — gnowing is that way of discerning a current truth or sensing True Beauty through these many other conduits of garnering information.  We often associate these “other conduits” to body parts:  heart, gut, third eye.  Some just toss it off as intuition.

To Practice “truth wariness:”

     1)  Be flexible in your perspective on truth.  Challenge your own assumptions about the nature of a person, place, or thing.

     2)  Become aware of  historical shifts in “The Truth”.  Educate yourself about different belief systems.  Reject anything touting itself as an “absolute truth” (including this statement).

     3)  Listen deeply to yourself; express your own truth with compassion for that of others.  Communicate it with the intent to create an evolutionary response, not only from those without — but within yourself as well.  Strive to not cultivate “fixed” ideas.

     4)  Deeply listen to others.  What is true for them?  Can you see it?  Is it as they say?  Can you live their truth for a bit without having to adopt it?

     5)  Examine your need to be “right.”  Is it serving you or not?  Do you want to be right, or do you want to be effective?

     6)  Make choices that move you in your correct direction.  Indian philosopher J. Krishnamurti says this about the nature of truth:  “Truth is not a fixed point; it is not static; it cannot be measured by words; it is not a concept, a idea to be achieved.”   (Keeerect in my book!)

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”      ~Buddha

The concepts of Truth and Beauty are often paired.  It is assumed that one informs, or proves, the other.  I contend that “truth” is a moving target — as is the popular notion of beauty (i.e. “glamour” — think fashion,  aesthetic trends, etc.).  But True Beauty is eternal, unwavering.  It is as harmony: manifesting in many different instruments, relationships, and vibrations, but always … always harmonic.

photo by Lisa Z Lindahl
so many apples of knowledge to bite into

2 Comments

  • this “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” ~Buddha
    is one of the most difficult methods of discernment to apply. one must know one’s own “reason” and “common sense” part of my journey was to “live” some pre-defined truths, trying various aspects on for size. it took a lot of self observation, reflection, and discernment to find what agrees with my own reason and common sense. Truth is a journey that too few of us refuse to take.

    • Thank you for your insightful observation. Inventing oneself, using mediums/tools given and learned, on a canvas never static is a lifelong process. We evolve. Even denying this process is a choice that paints that canvas, over and over. Fascinating!

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