Sunday, December 19, 2010

truth and story telling

the rest of the story...
the untold story...
their side of the story...
history is a story written by the winners...

I was raised in the LDS tradition, one that leaned heavily on the rhetoric of absolute truth (and the ability to know truth "with out a shadow of a doubt").

Now, I am mostly satisfied to accept ambiguity.
I accept that everyone frames events in their own way, telling the story from their angle, their own truth, how the world appears to them. We tell our stories to others and we tell our stories to ourselves.
And when the stories don't align...


Joseph Smith may have been a womanizing fraud. Or he may have been a sincere but misguided charismatic leader. Or he have been a true mystic communicating with beings beyond the veil.

(It's a bit of a stretch but I find odd intersects between the cults of personality surrounding Joseph Smith and Julian Assange. Truth be told, I empathize more with Bradly Manning types. But I digress...)

What I really wanted to say is:
"Sometimes I crave truth but am not sure there's any such thing. I will settle for sincere honesty."

I actually DID say that, earlier today, on twitter and a friend responded:
"will insincere, but non-malicious, bordering on the truth, white lies, do in a pinch? :)"

That sure got me thinking. Because initially I wanted to insist upon the harshness of honesty, but, perhaps non-malicious bordering-on-the-truth white lies are the mortar of society. Thoughts?

Two random things:
1) Neil Gaiman's words about our masks/false faces/story telling.

2) Mike Kimera's words about writing lies to tell the truth (mildly nsfw).


btw, here's the page in my sketchbook where I outlined some of these thoughts ->
drawing 324 of 365

Yes, I know, this is all very random and obscure.
Thanks for bearing with me.


The Numismatist said...

I just returned from a service at our Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Church. The Reverend spoke today about observing Christmas and how it is perfectly okay, even for athiests and agnostics. He also spoke on one of the things the Buddha taught which is "if you don't believe it, that's okay". In other words, he gave me the freedom to toss out the (to me and to him) ridiculous idea of reincarnation so that I can (hopefully) focus on the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.

The Reverend also cautioned not to proclaim too loudly and adamantly what your beliefs are because one day they might change.

G said...

"cautioned not to proclaim too loudly and adamantly what your beliefs are because one day they might change."

heheh.. and yah, do I ever get that.

Jodo Shinshu Buddhist service... I really must look into that.

G said...

(and thank you, numi, for the comment) <3

The Plaintiff said...

I think I agree with you about there not being a way to reach the truth. The only response to that I can offer is to seek for logic. I talk a bit about that on my blog as well but logic comes from the Greek word logos, meaning to reason. The basic function of logic is to determine the best of the arguments presented. If one is less in value or merit than the other it is less logical.

As far as honesty, or the truth is concerned I'm not entirely sure we will witness all of that in our lives. We can only deal in the perspective (or subjective view) we are limited to.

I don't think you are too far off though. A lot of what you are considering are things I too have questioned myself. If you look at it mathematically you can better navigate your way through various situations without much remorse or yearning for "truth" because the logic will have beat out the need for the other. Deep down inside there will always be a wanting for the whole truth but we will have to wait until the timing is right.

G said...

thank you, plaintiff. I'm not much of a mathematician... but I am finding more comfort right now in logic and reason.