Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I wish that Paul Eckman had been more successful. Perhaps he was. But Heisenberg struck again. Humans being adaptable we have only gotten better at presenting the false as the true.

Finding truth is hard. Truth is time dated. Truth is often situational and based on the perspective of the observer. Truth is mostly something we avoid. We accept words from others as true. We don't examine our own words, motives and beliefs. We swear that we are speaking the truth. Yet, we're not sure that it is anything more that the "at this time" truth.

I have met people who lie as a test of my integrity, memory, and honesty. I have met those who lie simply because it is convenient and short. They see the truth as something that will require a long story, possibly revealing details about themselves or their loved ones best kept private.

When I meet a new person, I almost never inquire too deeply. Why ask for something uncomfortable to be revealed or force a lie-? Let each person sing their own song. If it's pretty, pleasing and accepted then that is all required for social chat.

Words say only 10% of our meaning. Or so I read long ago from an author I cannot remember. Most communication is done by body language. Some say that body language is 60-70% of our communication. Inflection, intonation and phrasing make up the remaining 20-30% of meaning. My Mother-in-Law was a master at speaking in an insulting tone then reverting to pained defense when repeating her words. Hard woman to be around. Luckily she made it clear she disliked me from the start. I tried to be social, polite and agreeable. I was there because of my wife and later the grand children. It's easy to be around people who dislike you and you know it. There is no wondering what you have done wrong, this time or at any time. She was an enigma. I have yet to meet anyone who felt they knew her.

The tale about the Garden of Eden is a lesson that too few actually spend much time considering. It is the first time (earliest-?) we have a tale about nakedness (and idea that something is wrong with seeing one another uncovered), lying and punishment.

I have wondered about that tale often. Some think it harkens back to a time before we began farming and herding for most of our diet. The tales of Cain and Abel are of a hunter and a farmer, murder and again a lie. What puzzles me is the Tree.

Specifically, "The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil"

Why the "Knowledge of Good and Evil"-? Why Both-?

Spending time around animals, dogs mostly these day. But around horses, cows and chickens as a child, I find no memory of an animal knowing either good or evil... Why-? Animals understand right and wrong. They learn behavior. They know what -we- their leaders demand and expect. We humans also know what our leaders expect, demand, coerce. If we don't we soon find out.

Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Saddam, and unnamed butchers around the world slaughter and slay humans using the efforts of other humans. Are they speaking any objective truth to convince their accomplices-? Do they simply lie and manipulate their desires to please, do good, help, improve, share the burden of leadership, etc. to convince others that slaughtering the innocents is a good thing-?

Where is "Good" and where is "Evil"-? Most will not see -real- good in their life. There are acts of kindness. But finding, observing, doing a real act of sacrifice for another is beyond them. We also refuse to recognize "evil" in an act and most particularly when it is laying latent, resting, within another. We listen to smooth blandishments and accept them as something true that explains to our naive ears/eyes what we thought we perceived was wrong.

We have had peace for a long period of human history. Europe has not had such a long period with neither wars between nations or bands of roving brigands seizing territory and conquering tribes to claim status as a nation, in a very long time.

Does this mean that Evil is vanquished-? That Good prevails around the world and that only confusion exists today-?

I wish I could accept that. Unfortunately, I have too much background, too much reading, too many associations with warriors to see the world as safe and peaceful.

So back to the original thought; What is "Truth"-? And why do we think we live in it-?

Life is precious. It is easy to kill and ruin life. It is hard to bring it into being, to nurture and protect it, and to educate tthe next generation that bad things happen to good people far too often while good things happen to bad people more often than we wish. How do we teach our children to know Truth from Lie and Good from Evil-?

What was really in that fruit-? Did we eat enough or just enough to grow foolish and believe we can aspire to meet a diety as an equal-?

As I age, I get more questions and find fewer answers... When I was young, I had many more answers and fewer questions.

AS I age, and as I listen-watch-observe, those would be our masters perform; I wonder if it is more dangerous to speak the truth or to simply ignore, cover it or spin it (a polite way of lying)... Which breeds more monsters-? Which feeds their analysis of the speaker/leader's strength and weakness-?

The chattering class who leap in and tell us how to think about what we just heard seem mindless, credentialed-but-ignorant, people who have never walked down a street they did not belong alone and unarmed.

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