Here some random thoughts, interspersed with more random thoughts as well as random quotes and random links, all to do with ideas about TRUTH and REALITY …
To start with – a piece written by my son when he was, huh, quite young, describing a true experience. He gave me permission to share it.
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On Tuesday the 3d of May 1989, at eleven o’clock, me and my dad set off to Driebergen, about 20 miles from Amsterdam. It took us 45 minutes to get there. We went to see dad’s old house and it looked still the same as when he had lived there 16 years ago. Then we drove to a tennis club, called Manger Cot’s (Cat?). Dad went to the club house to meet some of his old friends, like his tennis trainer, Bill, and his father, can’t remember the name. Then we had a look if the squash club was still there, but it wasn’t, so we had some lunch. After that we went to a music shop, and I mucked about on the drums while dad talked business with the shop keepers. Later we went into the woods and walked about.
On the way back, dad was brutally attacked by a TREEbrandishing a knife stained with blood from its previous victim. Dad fell over and when he got up he looked like Frankenstein with a massive cut down his forehead and blood dripping all over the place.
Dad said it didn’t hurt, but we still went to Peter’s house (a friend of my dad) to wash off the blood. But Peter wasn’t there, and neither was his wife. So we had to walk back to the car and drive to the music shop to clean up the wound. Then the shopkeeper said he knew where there was a surgery, so we went there. When we got there, dad went in to see the doctor, and I waited outside in the lobby. Dad came out with three stitches in his forehead and a big plaster over it.
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The etymology of the word TRUTH indicates – good faith, fidelity, sincerity, veracity – and agreement of fact or reality. TRUTH has been subjected to many theories and definitions, here are some of them:
1 Correspondence Theory: In the words of Thomas Aquinas, ‘Truth is the equation of things and intellect.’
2 Coherence Theory: Truth is only what is coherent with the whole system.
3 Constructive Theory: Perceptions of truth are viewed as contingent to convention, human perception and social experience, in other words, every truth is socially constructed.
4 Consensus Theory: Whatever is agreed upon …
5 Pragmatic Theory: Truth is verified and confirmed by the results of putting one’s concept into practice. It is self-corrective over time.
6 Kierkegaard says – ‘Objective truths are final and static. Subjective truths are continuing and dynamic.’
7 Nietzsche thought untruth is better than truth if it has life-enhancement as consequence.
8 Fromm held Truth to be a functional approximation of reality.
9 Foucault refers to ‘Regimes of Truth’ that shift constantly throughout history.
10 Baudrillard: The simulacrum is true because it conceals that there is no truth.
11 Lao Tzu: Words of truth are always paradoxical.
12 A mystic, Hazrat Inayat Khan, expressed TRUTH like this: Those who see the truth uncovered, abandon reason and logic, good and bad, high and low, new and old … As water in a fountain flows in one stream but falls in many drops, divided by time and space, so are the revelations of the one stream of truth. Not everyone can comprehend the idea of different truths being derived from one truth. Common sense has been so narrowly trained in this world of variety that it naturally fails to realize the breadth and subtlety of a spiritual fact so far beyond the reach of its limited reasoning.
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