Jabberwocky for 2002 June 7 (entry 0)

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: I added the Pareto quote to my weblog because I've been meditating on the nature of Truth. Truth, in my opinion, is highly overrated. Give me a good story any day. Truth, in fact, is often unpleasant-- adjectives that describe it are such as "unvarnished" "naked". Ugh. Truth is only perception anyhow--how can one tell what "really happened?" One can't. All experience is filtered through the individual's cognition.

People who cling to THE TRUTH often miss the rich tapestry of life, to which we are opened by risk of the possibility of error (another effect of perception.) Much of universal beauty has a basis in a personalizing interpretation. What do you want to view, a Rodin statue or a clinical anatomy text? (I'm thinking of "The Kiss"-- no kiss was ever really like that!)

It's the stories that add dimension to our lives. The empiricist lives like the characters in "Flatland"; no depth, no meaning. I like the Hebrew vision of multi-layered truth: allegorical truth, typological truth, universally symbolic truth, cultural truth, historical truth, personal meaning.

I'm not talking about "lies" here (another one-dimensional construct), not malice, not deception. I'm talking about assimilation, personalization, interpretation. Stories.

Without the "willing suspension of disbelief", how poor would be our psyche-- no messengers speeding along the rainbow, no magic mistletoe twig, no angel bearing a book of engraved golden plates. Alma says the first step is to be willing to believe, and after this first step, the seed will grow.

Goethe: "A false hypothesis is better than none at all. The fact that it is false does not matter so much. However, if it takes root, if it is generally assumed, if it becomes a kind of credo admitting no doubt or scrutiny, that is the real evil, one which has endured through the centuries."


© 2001-2006 Frances Whitney.