Thursday, July 27, 2006

Flawed Reality

I was just talking to Cayenne on how you have really clear
memories of things that didn't happen. How you know there is
this scene in a movie and a great line - you can see the whole
thing in your head, and then you watch the movie again and
your memory is all wrong. I feel weird when things like that happen.....

It started with a conversation about Bill O'Reily from The O'Reily
and how when he is called on facts or something he said - he
will deny he ever said something that is on tape, and can be proven.
Or if he gets a fact wrong, will steadfastly continue with his version
of reality.

That led to talking about something that is sometimes called "The
Right Man Syndrome" where someone has to be "right" in the face
of all evidence to the contrary. (Strangely enough, a search on the
web of this syndrome turns up strong tie-ins to serial killers and
mass murderers.... yikes!)

I like to think I am pretty fluid in my mind, to change when I find
new facts that challenge my viewpoint. Then I started thinking about
how if we are just a collection of our memories, and those memories
are really, really flawed - just how creepy that is.

If we are a collection of our own fictions, then what are we really?
How can we even function in reality? There seems to be an increasing
swing in this nation to ignoring facts, and everyone is living in
their own made-up realities. That if they just say something
ridiculous, enough times, it will somehow become true because they
want it to.

I used to think truth and facts were pretty important. Actually I
still do. But still allow room for people's personal philosophies and
spirituality (I think humans need some of that). But facts and
some reasonable form of reality just don't seem to be important
to most of the nation anymore. Why?


Anonymous said...

There is a difference between perceptions (which can be faulty) and truth which is incorruptable.

You made an interesting point in saying that "...But I still allow room for people's personal philosophies and spirituality...."

Philosophy (personal or otherwise) is how your perceieve the Truth having been filtered by the perspective (culture, language, preferences etc). Philosophy therefore is not necessarly a reflection of the Truth just as reality is not necessarly an accuate representation of the Truth either; but more as your reality shapes your philosophy.

For example: We're driving down the road and it's hot (shouldn't be too hard to imagine :) ) and you see a mirage in the distance. If you were to only interperate the mirage by what you saw (let your perceptions shape your reality in respect to the Truth) you would think that (whatever the mirage was) water was covering the road (or whatever). If you let your perceptions (what you see and feel) dictate your philosphy you would think that water was on the road and that the rest of the world some distance away (becuase of the mirage) was fuzzy and wavy etc.

But the truth is that there is no water on the road no matter how much your eyes say there is and the world so far away isn't wavy and distorted. Becuase you DO know what the truth is (no water on the road, etc) you aren't fooled by the mirage as Truth is independent of the observer. Nothing you do (drive faster, slower, have a higher perspective of the road, or lower perspective) will change the Truth, even though in all of these perspectives may yield the same reality (of the mirage). Your perspective is not changing the Truth.

So what is global sense, what is Truth? Oh my. That would be a heck of a podcast.
That would actually be really fun.

Susan Grandys said...

Actually I did a podcast on just Truth, earlier this year. "Cayenne and Sue take on the Truth". We went all over the place on Truth and decided it was pretty malleable. I could probably do a lot of podcasts on truth....

Susan Grandys said...

Also, reading your comment a couple of times, it is interesting in that the mirage is not there, is the Truth,
however the fact that mirages exist -
is also the Truth. What the heck are you supposed to do with that.

All I can hope for is mankind keeps learning and learning, because you have to be able to accept that both Truths exist and rectify them in your mind.
Awfully tricky unless you value knowledge! :)

It also was an interesting take on wrapping in reality and philosophy.
Yup - could be several podcasts....

Anonymous said...

Hey Sue! I do remember that podcast now. It was one of the first of your podcasts that I listened to. Got me thinking quite a bit and since then (to various degrees) been on the quest to resolve this dilema of contradictory Truths, truths, perceptions and philosophies.

The fact that the mirage exists does not change the fact that the road is not covered in water. (In this case the road being covered in water is the Truth). The mirage distorts (and I pick that word carefully) your perception of the Truth. It does not change the Truth in anyway (remember, Truth is independent of the observer). Just becuase all of your eyes are telling you that the road is covered in water doesn't make it the Truth (!) but instead it changes (distorts) your perception of the Truth.

"it is interesting in that the mirage is not there, is the Truth,
however the fact that mirages exist -
is also the Truth."

The mirage distorts the Truth. If you have knowledge of the mirage, your knoweldge of such will allow you to interperate what you see and allow you to understand (not necessarly physically see, but realize) the Truth (that the road is not covered in water, etc.).

But if you have knowledge of the mirage existing, it's existance is true and that in itself is a particular truth, but it is not conflicting with the Truth as we have defined. (Sure, the mirage exists, but it doesn't change anything in a global sense, it only changes the way we look, understand, interact with the Truth.

So, what can we do with this?
Lots. :)

We can indentify these mirages that we see everyday and understand that they aren't really the Truth.
We can start to understand how these distortions effect us and how to see through them (or past them)

Money is not the root of happiness.
Advertisements: True happiness is NOT based upon me owning the new fengly device.
Happiness is not tied up in things but in relationships with people.
No matter how many stunningly beautiful women are in Pepsi commercials, Diet Coke will always be better. I see through that mirage!