When I was a kid I always thought that the deaths in films were real and that the actors who died were actually born again to star in their next blockbuster.
My fantasy fell apart when I actually saw the video of a film shoot in which the hero died 5 times within the span of fifteen minutes.
It was one of my first encounters with the failure of Truth.
It’s amazing how these early life lessons are buried under pretentious, fallacious theoretical bubbles.
How can people — scholars, intellectuals and activists — actually accept that everything we believe to be true actually becomes our reality? (Yes, I am talking about the post-modernists.) If the world really worked this way there would have been no disappointments. Expectations, faith and hope would have never crumbled as easily as it usually does.
Thus, even if there is no ultimate Truth, there sure exists some kind of falsity. There exists a difference between what we think or consider as the Truth and what we experience as reality. The problem simply is that we can’t demarcate between the two — the nature of our ever-changing knowledge doesn’t allow any permanent dichotomies.
And this is precisely why I think we should approach knowing in a different way than we usually do.
The base of Human Knowledge is not knowing.
Our quest for knowing is fueled by this partial or complete void; because, if we already know everything, then why seek anymore?
Remembering this fact is intensely liberating.
Let us not pretend that we uncover some hidden truth in the ‘outside’ world which we can’t even be sure of (as the world, for us, only exists in our perception).
I don’t mean to exclude the possibility that we have indeed discovered some thing which is universal, permanent or objective. But we just can’t be sure of them. Our knowledge is still in process, and this process includes change,rejection and return of truths which were previously rejected. The world was once flat and now it’s round. Who knows if it won’t turn into a triangle or not?
Knowledge and Truth will always be something which we put in. It exists only as Human knowledge. It is an act of our minds.
So let us pretend instead that Truth is a story we tell which makes sense.
But does this mean that everything proclaimed as Truth becomes real?
Based on our collective experience of the world, Truth seems to be multiple and fluid. But not everything seems to be true. Not every medicine system cures the disease which it itself claims to cure. Not every hypothesis is proved right even when the person conducting experiments believes in it completely.
Newton is reported to have been much more interested in Alchemy than Physics. Why is it that all his time spent in the search of knowledge, only his experiments with physics bore fruit but not his alchemy?
There is a reason why newton discovered the laws of motion and not the philosopher’s stone.
Truth is the narrative which works as Truth.
For any story to become reality, it has to correspond to experience.
If I believe that the sky is green and I myself see it as blue, then that belief fails as my own personal reality. Similarly, collective narrative has to reasonably correspond to a collective experience.
We don’t necessarily need an outside structure of comparison to judge the narratives — we can use their own claims and predictions to discover their Truth value.
By the same logic, Truths can be hierarchic.
Any Reality Narrative which fails less is obviously better than the ‘Truth’ which fails more in experience.If harvest rituals promise bountiful crops and they don’t as compared to the scientific techniques of farming, then the latter is a more reliable Truth for the society than the former. (Whatever anyone wants to believe.)
And the narratives whose claims lie outside the realm of experience by definition like the existence of God, life after death, heaven and hell will become less legitimate as a common reality when other narratives exist.
Narratives which can be judged inside lived experiences are always more reliable because we can check it’s falsity (or the lack of it). Narratives whose base claims are undetermined are dangerous because when it reaches its fanatic heights, people with other beliefs have no way of negotiation — you either have blind belief in them or you are branded a betrayer, heretic or a conspirator.
This in no way means that such narratives are illegitimate. They shouldn’t be completely excluded. They just can’t be relied upon as COMMON Truth, on the basis of which a WHOLE society can make its decisions.
I am not really suggesting that we create any rigid structures. All Truth, it seems, is probable. As we haven’t experienced the whole of existence, proclaiming any narrative as the ultimate TRUTH will be a fallacy of presumption (same applies for the rejection of the possibility of any permanent Truth).
Knowledge should always be open-ended because knowing is always in process. As long as we live we are experiencing beings.
Knowledge is merely a pattern we put into these experiences, which enriches them, binds them and in turn create new experiences in our consciousness.
Personally as a knower, my ultimate aim isn’t to find out the ‘TRUTH’. Especially when the existence of such a truth itself isn’t absolutely assured (although essentially the question remains open).
I see life in terms of experience and hence, to me such narratives are a way to gain a depth in experience.
To unite scattered feelings, events, memories and thoughts. To combine them in different ways. And to experience those different combinations in different ways.
Perhaps this is too much philosophy for one post 😛
WHY SO MUCH PHILOSOPHY?
My first answer to that is — Why not?
But I understand why many people are wondering about this question.
We all are children of post-modernism now. We all have known the “anything goes” motto in some way or the other.
Initially it does feel liberating.
I was a fan too not a long time ago.
But then reality strikes.
The dark side of this is that no one can really counter the fanaticism which has slowly saturated our world. And I am not only talking about people with guns, scriptures and suicide vests.
There has been a general taking away of liberties all over the world. Our existence is in threat. Even the existence of our planet. And we don’t have anything to fall back on — to counter such threats in a substantial way.
One may question why this taking away of freedom is a bad thing.
To them I reply, that question’s answer doesn’t really lie in some high-brow theoretical argument, but in plain experience.
And yet until we put them into narrative, we will always be silenced by the fanatics.
The following posts are my attempt to at least try creating a position through which we can fight back —
Trying To Escape 21st Century Nihilism By Finding Out The Inherent Purpose Of Life
Attempt To Create A Charter Which Isn’t Too Rigid But Which Gives Us Some Guidelines To Fall Back Onhttps://deerayolia.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/the-new-charter/