Monday, 27 June 2011

Image -> Perception -> Opinion -> Truth

After all the posts I wrote this year, and the eBooks produced, it's time for a spiritual one again

Spirituality? Just another label, in principle. Funny (not) how we can even disagree on the meaning of that word, let alone the implications of it. Where religions divide (your god or mine), spirituality should unite. Religions in general try to teach us that we're separate from god(s), spiritualities try to teach us that we're close or even equal to god(s)

Politics follow the same principle, as do old-fashioned enterprise hierarchies: they thrive on dividing people. Social is uniting people all over the globe, in their private lives but also increasingly invading their professional lives. Is that uniting opening up their minds?

I remember reading Socrates in ancient Greek on his cave-metaphor in his Politeia - called The Republic for those of you who are less versed in ancient Greek. It's entitled Glaucon, and book VII. Major quote from that:

To them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows
of the images

It's a great metaphor, now let me explain the situation: Plato pictures people living in an underground den, tied and shackled and unable to move even their head. Above and behind them a raised wall where people walk across; above that, a fire. The people downstairs can only see their own shadows, and those of the people above them - and so they have since childhood

In that context, their Truth would be nothing but the shadows of the images indeed

Were they to be released, they'd see the actual people that were behind the shadows - but would not even be able to name them. Their truths would have no place for them

Image -> Perception -> Opinion -> Truth. That is the simple chain of events. Once you find your truths, usually helped greatly by other people's perceptions and opinions, they solidify in you.
I had a conversation with a Christian a little while ago, one who was convinced that we were born natural sinners. We had the usual question-and-answer dialogue, and he continued to tell me that we were born natural sinners

I told him that most of us do become sinners (not in the Church's dogma sense), but that that happens at some point during childhood, age 3-6 or so, when we start to find our truths - but not from birth. He disagreed yet again, saying that we're all born in natural sin

I told him that when I look at a baby, I see Love. Pure Love, and nothing else but Love.
I asked him whether he saw sin when looking at a newborn baby. He told me he had to leave, and thanked me for the conversation.
I never heard from him again

Somehow, we get the idea that what we perceive, is real. It isn't. Even the images aren't real. Or maybe they are, but then again what is real? Too late to ask Plato.
Our opinions? They're our opinions.
Our truths? They're our Truths

It's not a one-way street, the road to Truth. There is no Road To Truth, even. With 1 image and 10 people, there are 10 perceptions, a few dozen opinions, and possibly a few hundred Truths involved.
Why, oh why, why on earth, in heaven or Lawd knows, do we so desperately cling on to our Truths? Because we made so many sacrifices committing ourselves to them?
Do we not want a Return on Investment, but only think of the Investment we made and the Loss we feel we'll suffer when we let go? Is it the Loss of Investment that keeps us from moving on?

Maybe you can't change the image, but you can change your perception. You do that every day, if you have glasses and put them off and on, or see people talking and laughing but don't hear what they're saying - until you do.
Everyone can change their opinion. You do that every day, in work, in private, you continuously change your opinion about everything - if "need be".
At the very, very end of that, there comes Truth - now why would that not be subject to change? Everything else before that is...

Walk the path backwards. Take one of your Truths, and an Opinion that belongs to it. Then take the Perception that goes along, and you'll remember the Image that preceded it.
Then, travel forward again - and see where you end up

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