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TRUTH


Does not truth become an enemy of life, an enemy of what is better? A question seems to weigh down our tongues, and yet not want to be uttered: whether one is capable of consciously remaining in untruth, or, if one had to do so, whether death would not be preferable?

 

HTH-34

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1. stolzy - March 9, 2012

Truth could only become an enemy to life if it were regarded in a too abstract, absolute, factual and inflexible manner. Of course this is exactly what often happens given today’s impulses towards dead facts and away from alive thinking; and also given 3 centuries in the West of gathering reductionism. Better to conceive of Truth as an ideal, as the Greeks did largely. In physical life, motoring or meandering about (before the days of GPS nav toys) we would utilize the idea of North as a rough guideline to orient ourselves in our daily movements, East, West and so on — without needing to know the exact location of the magnetic pole at the given moment. Similarly, as a kind of guidepost in the realm of thought, trueness is a concept which serves to orient us correctly. Our sense of truth can (and should) be cultivated during life, not attached to a litany of dogmas. We cultivate this by thinking, pondering, weighing experiences, and revisiting them later after subsequent memories and events. In this pondering, one can feel the sense-organ quality of truthfulness. It is something like a sense of taste or smell for apprehending the depths of reality. The moment one declares inwardly, or worse, outwardly, that one has captured the truth, it slips away; we become candidates for self-deception. Always the warning that truth must be perceived gradually from many different vantage points is something to keep in mind and practice with awareness. Truth is a habit, an idea, a direction, a tendency. It is glimpsed better with intuition than clutching at facts. There is of course a role in truth-seeking for reason, rationality, deductive thinking. But it is not an exclusive role. To believe so closes one off from Truth. Along with Beauty and Goodness, Truth is one of the three fundamental undying urges of teh human soul, our inner guideposts. Truth in the realm of thinking; Beauty in the realm of Feeling; Goodness in the realm of Willing (or deeds). To cloud any of these three with theoretical frameworks besmirches our capacity to further pursue and comprehend and share them. They are best seen as still unfolding, and we are evolving towards the ability to know them and exemplify them. It is in the Arts where we can freely approach these ideals with freedom. Mathematics and Science can help foster one’s appetite for them, especially early in life. Especially in Math, we can have childhood experiences of suddenly knowing and confronting our own conscious awareness while it is in the act of beholding a truth we have won through pure conceptual reasoning. When this happens in the right way, it will be very difficult to fall prey to materialism and reductionism as a worldview later in life. But I think vivid experiences with Art and nature may achieve the same thing, but without as strong an emphasis upon thinking. When Science diverges too far from Beauty in it’s explorations, and when it’s motivations deviate too far from Goodness, tehn Truth becomes shielded by lies. It is ironic that all three ideals need be balanced for healthy undertakings in any area, at least when in depth. The greatest fallacy currently confusing the culture and academia is the notion that Truth (in the guise of scientific investigation) can be pursued independently of considerations of Goodness or Beauty as ideals. A real science education would need to include a very strong ethics education as well as a deep awareness of and reverence for Nature. To people who can see above the current fray, it is almost comical to hear about the fervency with which some present day thinkers wish to trample the Humanities. Comical and a tragedy at once. A new science must be erected which embraces the ‘spiritual’, starting perhaps with these three ideals re-imagined and with much more respect for the role of subjective intuition in epistemology (it’s kernel). And likewise, a new spirituality must be forged which embraces the earnest rational testing of science within it’s seeking. Then these two must be married together. That is what will reroute our culture away from it’s current desolate path.

2. aldelsol - March 10, 2012

You wrote:
“The greatest fallacy currently confusing the culture and academia is the notion that Truth (in the guise of scientific investigation) can be pursued independently of considerations of Goodness or Beauty as ideals.”

I say: Perhaps that truth pursued dependently of considerations of Goodness is dangerous to the conservation of Life….
Because :
“In spite of all the value which may belong to the true, the positive, and the unselfish, it might be possible that a higher and more fundamental value for life generally should be assigned to pretence, to the will to delusion, to selfishness, and cupidity. It might even be possible that WHAT constitutes the value of those good and respected things, consists precisely in their being insidiously related, knotted, and crocheted to these evil and apparently opposed things–perhaps even in being essentially identical with them.Perhaps!
But who wishes to concern himself with such dangerous “Perhapses”!”

PS I like you comments !


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