We Can Change Our Programming!
Truth is tricky. Objectively, truth is the reality of how it really is, which we do not know, except conditionally and artificially, and, subjectively, truth is what we believe is true as we go along.
For a long time, we’ve been trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Who and what are we? Where are we? How did we get here? Why are we here? What is all of the other stuff we perceive? Where did that come from? How and why does it change? What is time through which it changes? How does it fit together? What can we do with it? Which are more common or important than others? What else is there we don’t perceive? What interacts with what and how? What do we do with it? How do we feel about it, and why?
Ultimate truth is based on the idea that there are ultimate answers to these and other questions, we can learn the answers, and whenever we have the answers right, that’s truth. Until then, we accept as truth whatever we believe to be true. We want answers, and we accept the best answers we can get our heads around, ‘til something better comes along. What we believe is true evolves, until, someday, hopefully, we arrive at ultimate truths, explanations of how it really is that are definitely right.
Most of us believe there is ultimate truth and we can ultimately know that truth, but we also believe anything is possible, which means anything can be true. If that’s true, then ultimate truth must encompass all possibilities. Until we know all possibilities, we cannot know ultimate truth, because we cannot know if what we believe is true is true for all possibilities, including everything that can be created by anything, ever. Until we know all that can ever be, we cannot know ultimate truth. Tricky.
Rationally, we are a long way from knowing everything, no matter what we tell ourselves. We are but fleeting, experiencing and thinking water drops of consciousness that pop in and out of existence for moments on a clump of dust floating among scattered clumps of dust in the possibly infinite expanse of space and infinite expanse of time. We can pretend we know truth, but how likely is that? We can aspire to know ultimate truth. That’s a worthy endeavor, because it motivates us to expand awareness, grapple with it and grow. If we keep that up, we just might know ultimate truth, maybe near the end of time, if that exists, which we don’t know. In the meantime, truth is conditional, and truth is subjective, and we don’t know ultimate truth, and we might just as well be honest and humble about that.
Conditional truth is understanding developed when we grapple with pieces of the puzzle. If we work with this thing in isolation, under these conditions, and we do only these things, then this seems to happen consistently, or these qualities exist. We develop knowledge about specific, isolated stuff. That’s great! We can apply that knowledge to create and do things. But, it’s artificial, because there is ultimately no such thing as isolation, and conditions change. Conditional truth is ultimately untrue, because conditions in which that thing is observed change. Conditional truth has an if/then statement. If this and this are true, then, rationally and experientially, that and that are true.
If it’s raining, and we hold an umbrella over our heads, then we’ll stay dry. Oh, but then the wind gusts, the rain blows in from the side, and we get wet. We didn’t think about the wind, so what we thought was true turned out to be false, because wind does happen.
OK, don’t worry, we’ll just add a condition. If it’s raining, and there’s no wind, and we hold an umbrella over our heads, we’ll stay dry. Then, it rains weeks, the river floods, we get washed away and drown, while very wet. Bother. OK, don’t worry, we got it now. If it’s raining, and there’s no wind, and we hold an umbrella over our heads, and it doesn’t flood, we’ll stay dry. Then, lightning hits the umbrella, and the umbrella and we explode, and we get wet. Damn. OK, don’t worry, we got it now…
Conditional truth is true only as long as only those artificial conditions exist, if then, and any situation in which only those conditions exist is, as far as we know, always artificial. Any mathematical, logical or rational construct which starts with a given has limited utility, application or truth. “Given this, then” we can mathematically, logically or rationally construct that on that foundation. Cool. That gives us a tool. Tools help us do things. Thanks for the tool! Let’s do something cool with it! Oh, but what about when we’re not “given this,” then what? Sorry, this is only a conditional truth. Give us a minute. We’re on it.
Nobody can know that anybody knows ultimate truth, because we don’t know all that is, can or will be, and can therefore not verify that truth in all conditions. Meanwhile, we grapple with conditional truths, and conditional truths are ultimately artificial, because conditions ultimately change, or they are eventually affected by something we weren’t aware of, didn’t consider, or didn’t previously exist.
Nobody knows the ultimate truth. That’s OK! Life’s still good! In the meantime, we try to develop our understanding by expanding awareness and experience, working with conditional truths, applying the knowledge we have to create and grow. Excellent! We evolve, experience, enjoy and appreciate life. We get frustrated, because we want ultimate truth, think we’re so close, but can’t quite get there. Relax, it may be a very, very long time before we get there! In the meantime, let’s be humble about knowing ultimate truth, enjoy the journey, and create something beautiful along the way!
For now, at least, the truth is that nobody knows best, and we are all just trying to do and be our best. Thank you for that! That’s a wonderful contribution!
As we’re muddling along, trying to be and do our best, trying to learn more, experiencing life, creating, working and sharing, we work with our understandings. We need to develop and rely on some kind of understanding, some things we believe are true, some conditional truth tools we can use. So, we each develop worldviews and sets of knowledge, experiences, thoughts, beliefs and feelings. At a given point, we have some set of beliefs that we believe to be true. That’s what we’re working with.
If we believe it’s true, then practically, personally and relatively, that’s our truth, and it’s useful to us. We engage with everything through that truth. And we are all different. We’re each a product of unique DNA, parenting, upbringing, education, environments, conditioning, experiences, thoughts, behaviors, reactions, desires and dreams. It is, therefore, not surprising if we develop different truths.
Our personal, subjective truths are based on our subjective experiences. In this experience, I feel sad. That’s the truth. I know it, because I feel it. But in this same shared experience, another feels happy, and another feels loss, and another feels love. In the same shared experience, we have different experiences, each is real, and each leads to different personal truths. We’re each our own beings, with unique experiences, on our own paths, with our own truths. That’s true also. And that’s truly beautiful! We each grow, contribute and experience something unique, and we’re all richer for it.
It can get messy when we share personal truths, because they’re often different and incompatible. What is true for one may not be true for another, or may not be true for another at a point in time. What’s true for the child may be different for the teenager, different for the young adult, different for the adult parent, and different for the mature elder. What’s true for the student at one desk may be different from what’s true for the student at the desk next to it. That’s OK. It’s natural.
We want to share our truths, because they’re important to us. That’s who we are and where we’re at. But who is to say that our own not ultimate truths are any more true or important than anyone else’s? Let’s respect our differences and different paths and truths. Let’s allow each of us to develop and grow on our own paths, at our own paces. Nobody likes to have our truths belittled. That’s who we are and what we’re about; and we don’t like it when someone else challenges that or tells us we’re wrong.
What we need, at any point, is for others to listen to us and try to understand who we are and what we’re about, love and support us for who we are and what we’re about, and encourage us to develop and grow who we are and what we’re about. If we all share that with each other, we all evolve, in our own ways and at our own paces. Most people do not like to be told what to be, think or do, in part because it often isn’t the best fit for us personally at the time. It ignores our truths. But we all benefit from respectfully sharing what we are and do. Let’s each be, think and do what we truly think is best, for each and all of us, at that point in time, with respect for the truths and differences of each other!
If there is ultimate truth, we don’t know it yet. In the meantime, we’re each working with conditional and personal truths, worldviews and beliefs that are useful to us at a given time, in an effort to experience, enjoy and appreciate life, and to grow, share and evolve. Love and respect to all in that!
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