What many of us think is ‘the truth’ are a collection of images, stories, beliefs, conjecture, things we’ve heard, and then how these connect to our histories, forms of stubbornness, reactionary behavior and the automatic defense mechanisms and deep emotions. Please watch and listen. Of course, if you are visiting my site often, and reading most if not all of it, I am not anti-intellectual, and feel that all of us can use critical thinking skills. You don’t need to go to formal school to be a critical thinker.
We mistake memorization of ‘facts’ for the discovery and attainment of truths. In fact, there are many truths, if we haven’t yet figured this out, that operate in the world. And there are the collisions of truths. Just because more people believe it doesn’t mean it is true.
In this vein, whenever we meet with a feeling of ‘that’s impossible!!’ then we should really reflect. But I think for many people, they really don’t believe deeply in anything, or believe deeply in something in the extreme. For others, they just don’t care really. So between the too much and too little, our governments and corporations run the show. They use our truths–the general populations’ truths, to circulate things that can maintain their dominance, always shifting.
As far as ‘truth’ goes, Michel Foucault is someone I have mentioned before…….. His famous quote of not really being interested in ‘Truth’ but being more interested in the ‘effects of truth’s as they circulate and operate in the world; or in post-structural and postcolonial writings where thinkers are more interested in what happens when the various truths meet, are more to my liking and I think more effective for social change investigation and creative methods for coming up with movements to address oppression and justice. Maintaining our own truths just leads to further wars. This does not mean that there cannot be strong convictions. However, how much of our truths are based on social oppressions based on superiority and inevitability? What I’m trying to think about and also to put out for discussion for you and your friends, and with myself, is that ‘Truth’ is always political and always multiple. There are different ways of approaching the world. Perhaps there needs to be a questioning of what makes us marry and link ourselves with a final and all-encompassing ‘Truth” that is held onto, even at the cost of lives. At the same times, there are truths and there are lies. Universal truths are ways that a particular community in power, in a particular time, with particular formulations of power, make themselves universal. Things can be made to become true. Then we point and say: ‘see…..it’s true.’ If one’s eyes are opened, we can see our truths in relation to other truths and to cease competing. We can learn different ways of respecting without secretly thinking the others are inferior ‘oh those poor souls who don’t know what I know….’ is a violent, condescending approach to life. Can we learn how to have convictions but without making them violent and condescending, competitive and genocidal?
The Buddha also had some things to say on the matter of truth. The Buddha as a figure, who has been turned into a modern religious figure. However, we must understand that the historical Buddha, the Awakened One, spoke to the FAILURE of religions and truths in relation to the development of wisdom and compassion, fortitude and openness. He had this famous stanza:
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe anything because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
Now, on the topic of creativity in the world, the website The Sparrow Songs, puts out some very interesting projects. It is a project put together by filmmaker Alex Jablonski and cinematographer Michael Totten. The following video is Episode 7 from their group. It points to what I have been speaking about above, and what is happening in the world.
The Sparrow Songs website: http://thesparrowsongs.com/home