Compromising Truth

Compromising ‘truth’ will deconstruct the ethos to concoct measurable facts to contest its foundation. The act of compromising carries with it the notion of temptation that we are well aware of its consequences should we choose to exercise it. This is our human challenge which we consistently face in making daunting decisions to appease the pride of the many. As it’s never an easy task, we needed to grow in appreciating, and understanding the depth in the value of ‘trust’ that must be defended should ‘trust’ be that human quality to guide us into salvation.

We often take “shortcuts” to resolve issues that can only be short lived. Political scenes today reveal opposing parties that have never been so desperate in their attempts to wrestle for power. When in power, promises would fall prey to compromise where deals are negotiated behind doors. Compromising is not entirely a bad thing. It can deliver a fair agreement for all, if not the majority. However, there are inescapable consequences when morality is violated.

Lawmakers/politicians are skillful in twisting the truth that makes them infamous for wearing many faces. It’s in man’s manipulative sway where I am certain when the act of compromise is on the cards for the taking, guilt will tarry in the conscience. And, the guilt builds up layer by layer over time.

A recently released movie called, “The Two Popes” is worth the watch. The underlying message resonates with the topic of discussion written here. Featuring Sir Anthony Hopkins as the incumbent Pope Benedict, and Jonathan Price as Cardinal Bergoglio as the next Pope to take the helm. Their confessions delineated the circumstances of the decisions they made as stewards of God that affected many innocent lives. The Pope thought the Cardinal compromised his faith by keeping his silence during the political upheaval in his country (ie. Argentina) some thirty years ago. But, the Cardinal defended his actions indicating it was not compromise, but improvise whilst his faith in God remained unchanged. Nonetheless, in desperation the Cardinal did appease the pride of his aggressors in order to hold back their murderous rampage. Even then, the thought of it was disturbing. In silence, the emotional strain took its toll on the Cardinal. Is it a case when trust was compromised?

Comparatively, Pope Benedict suffered from a certain kind of guilt too for his action of inaction which saw clerical sex abuse persisted in his Church. Pope Benedict was known to be steadfast in the faith, and unwavering devotion to the rules. On that basis, he chose not to take further action against the transgressors believing his trust in God would prevail over the predicament. In contrast to the Cardinal’s taking matters into his own hands, the Pope opted to clasp his hands in prayer to resolve imminent troubles, and threats. Ironically enough, the Pope’s uncompromising stand compromised him. The undoing was his inaction. All the same, guilt weighed heavily on him too. Is it possible to allow trust to compromise us as it did with the Pope?

Assessing the two minds, it’s worth mentioning the different views they have on God. As I see it, the Pope believed in God. The Cardinal believed in God in him which could easily suggest the God that the Pope held true to his belief is next to non-existent. That is a matter of personal interpretation. However, shouldn’t one stay resolute in God, or the idea of it just as the Pope did? No questioning, no judgement, and no doubt. Or, is blind faith a mistake? If there is such a thing as a ‘mistake’.

You may have heard of the saying, “life is an illusion”. It’s a cliche thrown into general conversations without much thought. Life is an illusion because we live in the lies that we made for ourselves. Somehow, man draws comfort from that. Realising the dishonesty is getting out hand, faith steps in to defend truth. This is an insult to humanity by introducing a third party called “God” to defend our lack in faith, or commonsense. Why do we need to create the fear in God to keep the faith in order to defend truth? Why do we often struggle to stay close to the truth? It is because we can’t handle the truth (recalling Jack Nicholson making that statement in the movie ‘A Few Good Men’, 1992).

Spiritual masters like Buddha, Jesus and Prophet Muhammad had open dialogues with their disciples to unravel the mysteries of life. We should continue to do the same today to serve soul searchers of this era. We need to intellectualise life’s mysteries to bring better meaning that is acceptable to help us reach peace of mind.

Example, the term “enlightenment” regularly crops up in spiritual talks. It’s to supposedly describe something great. So great, and powerful that only our imagination can take us to its meaning. In other words, we don’t know what it means. I certainly can’t say that I do. “Enlightenment” is  the ability to analyse life’s events, and circumstances from a lighter stand, hence the name. If it’s in any other way, the opposing will weigh heavily on the emotions. Seeing life’s issues as lightly as the weightless ray of light will pave the way to a peaceful mind. Here’s another, what is the secret of life? The secret is to have none. For each secret that you hide, you lose a part of your innocence. Do you see how the answers point back to  the questions? It’s because the questions were articulated to suit the answers that already existed, but yet to be known in a measurable definition. It’s with this reason that we find ourselves falling short in our admission to the truth even though the question that is engineered is the answer.

Truth is where love resides. They share the same quality. Truth, or love is not tangible. Man in his egoistic nature has given into temptation to tangibilize the intangible in order to create definitions of right and wrong, black and white, or stupid and clever, etc. We differentiate our existence to create conflict, and argue about it.

Here is another conundrum which I made up, “To understand love is to let go of it”. 

The “Cloak-and-Dagger” of Fallacy

Knowing my interest in life’s subjects on explaining the unexplainable, my daughter recently shared with me there are as many as 20 classifications of fallacy in her study of critical thinking. She referred Ad Hominem Fallacy, Strawman Argument, Appeal to Ignorance, Red Herring Fallacy, to name a few. The Ad Hominem Fallacy vilifies, Strawman Argument put words into the mouth of others, Appeal to Ignorance employs “can be because it’s maybe”, and Red Herring Fallacy is insidious. It’s a subject preferably conducted in a classroom condition, and best that I leave the details to the pursuit of academia. There are many tactics used in fallacy, but they share a common desire of deception with the purpose to gain admiration, and support. Some fallacies obfuscate the truth with the intention of alluding to a supposition.

I am not sure how the thought on this will unfold. So, I am winging it.

Fallacy is employed by almost all politicians to overshadow their opponents, and to draw out a crowd, garnering the support they needed to stay relevant. The arena of politics adopts competition by opposing to establish the superior view. Objecting supposedly says there is an alternative view. Naturally, this invites audiences that are waiting for a reason to give their approval. If the fallacy is convincing enough then the candidates will get to keep their jobs which pays them a living.

Humanity are sentient beings with the power of conscience to conjure anything to keep the perspective of life interesting. The mind is immensely influential in its art in rendering life as a fallacy. This “proclamation” is not entirely false. It has validation from the spiritual, and scientific standpoint. Zen speaks of our physical appearances, and experiences perceived by our 5 basic senses (ie. sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch) are merely illusions with the understanding that our conscience is orchestrating them. Science claims that the perception of life’s solidity, and continuity are only limited by the cognitive frequency indicating that there is more to our appearance than meets the eye.

Fallacy is typical of life. It’s in our nature to use fallacy on any circumstances to cover the many representations of life. Disguising love, hate, bravery, fear, forgiving, unforgiving, success and failure are circumstantial acts of deception. Dressing up, or down our image on how we wish to portray ourselves following the different roles we choose to epitomise, be they celebrities in entertainment, political leaders, military, religious leaders, a highly respected family member, and any successful working civilians are archetypal deceptions. We create a paradox of fallacy to hypothesize life to give it context, meaning and hope.

In that, God, religion, karma, and “feng Shui” are highly subjective topics. Some would say, winning a lottery is luck, but it’s a blessing too because God moves in mysterious ways. If God is such a mystery then coincidence, luck and miracles are all the same. Can anyone claim on having experienced the presence of God, or divinity be a fallacy? Sure, it’s their reality against yours, and their words against yours. Is spring possible without going through the cycle of winter first? Can we see the significance of 3 if 2 is skipped? Is virgin birth possible? Did Jesus walk on water? It’s difficult to process miracles, let alone circumstances that don’t follow the natural order that existence which is designed to do. If cheese was squeezed straight out of a cow, people would still doubt. If more trust is needed, and less doubt, perhaps we go back to basics, and deconstruct the thinking to the way once innocence play when anything, and everything are possible. Realistically, that may not be such a good thing from a grown up perspective.

Fallacy, lies, half lies, and half truth. Where is the truth? Is there an absolute truth? Can we handle the truth?

Fallacy creates a world of fantasy seized by pride that will never allow the truth to prevail. Truth lies in the firm hold of pride which confined beliefs, and fantasies to its lair. Having pride in God and religion, or money and power, or success and failure or being gay or vegan is about disguising fear. Truth diminishes when pride tightens its grip on principles, and beliefs. When the grip is loosen, truth releases. Ego has its way with pride to over turn love into lust. We need to constantly pull pride back to be close with the spirit of creation. Only then, God, religion, money, power, success, failure, being gay, or vegan will no longer carry the burden pride, and losing the love for their recognition will make our existence meaningfully real.

So, truth is a matter of pride. With fallacy plays its cards well, truth will have many faces. This is the reason for the growing presence in strife which sets humanity apart. It’s not because of our differences in ethnicity, culture or beliefs, but inflated pride. If pride is managed with humility, our existence will become unquestionably agreeable, and acceptable. Not by lots of noise and arguments, but with silence where fallacy submits.

Truth  ∝ 1/Pride

Truth is inversely proportional to pride. As pride increases in its intensity, truth diminishes. If this mathematical equation has anything to go by, to achieve absolute truth suggests pride equals zero. Is it possible for love to completely replace pride? This means humanity will be completely cured from ignorance. Historically, life doesn’t seem to suggest that because more often than not, it takes pride to love, and forgive. If this attitude persists, mankind cannot go the distance. Perhaps, we can only draw ourselves closer to the infinite, but never arriving at ground zero.

The equation also suggest with lesser pride in God, the greater meaning in God will become. I’ve just realised that I’ve correlated the domain of science, and spiritual with a mathematical equation where the 2 realities are famously known for their incompatibilities. The virtual will invariably remain a fallacy as any attempt to measure them within the purview of our physical laws are inadequate. Unless, we accept to believe, fallacy stands triumphant.

Ghandi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. I understand that he didn’t coin the phrase, nonetheless he spoke it from a place of wisdom. It suggests a shift in perception to have existence be compatible with our expectations. But, we still seek satisfaction that must be full. This is a fallacy. We must see our existence is an invitation to serve by fitting in with the world that we are born into. This is acceptance with a full stop.

Much of what we do dwells in the process of self-assessment to determine whether our decisions, and actions justify the direction that we are taking in which serves us best. Most of us would rather choose the easy way out, and live beneath the guise of lies to escape persecution. Few would have the guts to live by the truth.  The reality is we are characters of pride with many faces of truth, and absolute truth remains a point too far to see, too close to find.