The ultimate truth and the truth we know

Friday, November 15, 2019

3:35 a.m. I printed out several comments thinking you might wish to expand upon points mentioned, but maybe you have your own agenda.

Perhaps it is not clear that our intent is always what might be termed “practical metaphysics.” We don’t wish to get lost in the clouds, nor to nitpick nor chop logic. We would much rather inspire someone than criticize, and much rather acquire colleagues than disciples.

Like Emerson.

And for the same reason. We would have not more way to use disciples than he had. How can anyone wanting others to think want them to think in a certain way, or within certain limits, or according to the views previously expressed by the master?

You see it all the time, though.

No, you never see it that someone wanting others to think for themselves acquires or seeks to acquire disciples. Gatherings of the like-minded for mutual stimulation is one thing. Following another, or following (or, worse, creating) dogma, is something different.

So I take it that you don’t intend to help me set up my Church of Superficial Plausibility.

Not at this time.

Now, given that aim of helping people think for themselves, and given that no one (except a fraud) sets out to teach without thinking s/he has something worth teaching, you can see there is going to be a certain tension between the authority of the material (not of the teacher) and the multiple viewpoints from which the material may be viewed. Except, this statement should be reconfigured, to show the problem more clearly.

  • There is “the truth” per se.
  • There is the individual’s viewpoint.
  • In effect, there are as many truths as viewpoints, because no one sees “the truth,” but only the aspect of truth visible from that angle of vision. This is a physical analogy, but true nonetheless. No one encompasses everything.
  • Even assuming universal honesty of intent and universal clarity of vision, truths as perceived will overlap or contradict each other or correspond or be in any other relationship one could name or imagine.
  • Hear that. “Truth” is not any one thing, it is all things, only one or some of which may be perceived or personified by any creature less than universal – which means, everybody, in 3D or out of it.
  • “When the gods go to war, men die.” Well, when humans live by different truths, in effect the gods war.
  • Does this shed any light on the vast impersonal forces we have been mentioning?
  • On free will and sin?
  • On perception v. judgment, that is, condemnation?

You have said or implied that we embody values, and that we are complicated enough to be able to choose among them. I have had the idea that our contribution by our lives lived in 3D, choosing, was to in effect vote for one quality over its opposite, or let’s say to embody certain values. But I admit I have never been able to get any clear persuasive idea why the gods should be at war, as you put it.

Life is always greater than your idea of it, let alone your ideas about it. That is, not only are your individual views always necessarily partial rather than universal, your larger discussion about what the world is – your conclusion as to “the meaning of life” – is always, necessarily, going to be less than universal. And so is ours!

Yes, I get that. It has been a good while since I assumed that you in non-3D – because you are in non-3D – must be all-knowing.

You get that: Not everybody did or will. To some it will be too upsetting.

Well, you must admit it undermines religions and philosophies.

It needn’t. What it undermines is certainty and false assumptions. What it promotes, ideally, is a sense of possibility.

Yes, but spell it out for us?

  • If you or we could come to the ultimate truth – then what would we do?
  • What if the ultimate truth is that life continually replenishes the possibilities of the world, so that yesterday’s ultimate is less than tomorrow’s?
  • Does a third-grader have any idea how much there is still to learn? Does a professional astronomer despair because of so much that is unknown? Does a sculptor or painter give up because s/he can’t sculpt or paint everything, or – even less so, do they give up because it hasn’t already been done by someone?
  • If one sticks to what one knows and can know, the margins are always shading off into the mist. Is this an imperfection? A tragedy?
  • How much appeal does a filled-in crossword puzzle have, or a solved mathematical puzzle? It is the journey, not the destination, that is the reward. Should you expect life itself to be any different?

We are left with the idea that we are filling in our time here, idling or keeping busy, but either way putting in our time to no discernable purpose.

It can feel that way. Does it always?

Less so when we are engaging our abilities, it is true.

Yes, only that in a somewhat larger sense than “exercising a skill” or even “practicing for perfection,” because it is so easy to overlook “the rest of your life,” the many aspects that involve your relating to the world and to your fellow beings (in and out of 3D) and to your own possibilities.

I also wonder about the sense we get that we in 3D are helping shape or polish our larger being in non-3D and elsewhere/elsewhen in 3D.

You have come a certain way from an earlier sense of sequential time and of reincarnation-by-unit.

True. Spell this out?

  • Each life may be seen as a component in the larger life.
  • Time being equally alive in any moment, lives in different moments interact.
  • Choices matter, not only for one life but for all of them.
  • Yet remember, “As above, so below.” There is no reason to believe that this larger being you help to shape is any more finished than you are, or any more universal.

In short, everything is always in flux.

Let’s say, In short, everything is always alive. You didn’t wander in after the play ended. They’re still rewriting the lines! They (we, you) always are.

The bottom line being –

Live your lives pursuing but not expecting to catch. Learning, but not expecting to know everything. Supporting what seems right, but remembering that all values have their place, that nobody is the ultimate arbiter.

This many people are going to be unable to do. Their values will require them to live from certainty or anyway from certainties.

And perhaps they are not your concern, nor you theirs. You may have to go your separate ways, and maybe there’s nothing wrong with that.

Or, as Rita was told to her surprise, “All is well. All is always well.”

Of course, that is only one way to see it –

Smiling, though I realize that wasn’t meant as a joke. Very well, our thanks, and till next time.

Take a day off. It’s good for you.

If you say so.


2 thoughts on “The ultimate truth and the truth we know

  1. I’m in for your ‘Church of Superficial Plausibility’ … if I get to wear the sequined jacket (Steve Martin in “Leap of Faith”! 🙂

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