Warriors For Truth

Seeking truth and clarity of where we are, how we got here and how we can align our lives with our beliefs reveals many “versions” of truth. Each perspective may seem true in isolation or within a limited context but may be revealed as false by wider observation or comparison. Only when we delve down through the layers of perceived reality are we approaching truth or a shared awareness of reality.

Everyone starts on this journey of discovery with a certain amount of ideological “baggage” and takes different paths to arrive at a particular understanding at any given time. Consequently, each person’s version of truth is coloured by their particular journey and ideological preferences.

This article is prompted in part by Rob who commented on someone with whom I’d been in correspondence as follows.

Clive: [X] throws assertions around but seldom backs them up. He seems to have reached a point in his understanding that is now fixed because like so many, having been so certain, he finds it hard to change his view because it may be perceived as a sign of weakness… this leads to a lack of intellectual rigour and cognitive dissonance which is what such people recognise in others but not in themselves.

Rob: I don’t know where people find such strong convictions, it’s layers of possibilities to me. My default position is doubt.
Sometimes I think I know enough to point out inconsistencies in others’ arguments, but I don’t know enough to paint the entire picture.
Perhaps it is the trap of putting yourself out there as an authority on something

Clive: I think that in contrast to orthodox learning/society, what we’ve been doing over the last decade plus discourages certainty because as we’ve peeled back the layers we’ve arrived at degrees of understanding that in fundamental terms such as concentrated power (that was effectively the first iteration of our analysis) hasn’t changed much but much of what we saw as the causes has been refined progressively. And when we delve into the esoteric aspects, it’s even harder to “rank” causes with effects. However, the overall picture, viewed from many perspectives comes more into focus and helps establish firm ground on which to move forward.

This recent email conversation occurred in the context of my writing articles and a paper on money, opensource and how tantalisingly close we are to being able to align how we view value, and consequently the political economy, with what powers the universe… Love. It set me thinking about the polarised debates between competing ideas around money, politics etc. but also the ethereal verses the rationalist view of life and the universe.

To be clear, in describing the various “factions”, I’m not referring to individuals because most people probably align themselves to varying degrees with a number of different ideas or persuasions. I’m trying to describe how we may be able to reconcile those who come at this from an esoteric or spiritual perspective with the rationalistic approach, as well as reconciling ideological “poles” by taking the discourse to a “higher” or “deeper” level.

Putting this into words is difficult but I come across many people who intuitively know what is true but when challenged to “prove” or justify that knowledge, struggle to do so, not least, because for whatever reason they’ve not delved into the mechanistic aspects of our condition in a methodical way; that’s not how they operate. Similarly, those who rely mainly on logic to form their world view aren’t interested in delving into the occult or esoteric knowledge; they see no reason to do so.

At the risk of making myself unpopular with both “camps”, I suggest that they each operate with a significant handicap because as I’ve tried to convey previously, the key to wisdom is knowledge (in all its forms) and balance, i.e. being able to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable.

The following is in the form of a mind map and started out as a means to clarify the creative tension between:

  • spiritual and physical reality
  • intuition and logic

This image from G.O.O.D. Channel on Telegram below has been on my mind for a few days because Alex and I wrote in the paper about the value of a tree to us as living beings versus the price of it in terms of its exchange value, when we use money as the means of valuation.

Value comprises what is valuable to men and women in terms of something’s use be it a good or service. Use value includes natural value, i.e. ecology, because we need a clean, healthy environment in order to thrive. Exchange money doesn’t capture the granular aspects of the use value of nature or the environment. For example, a tree is valued according to how it can be traded for exchange money rather than its bountiful qualities such as shade, shape, smell, sound (of wind in the leaves) etc.

In the past, I’ve dismissed “tree huggers” as being somewhat detached from reality because, in my ignorance, I had no idea of the value to be derived from the practice. This summer, I went out late one evening, barefoot, into the park that our flat overlooks. I found a substantial tree to hug. As a man, I mainly hug women and children; it invokes a sense of being a protector. When I hugged the tree, it was as though I was being protected by the tree. Hugging a tree is a novel (to me) and deeply emotional/spiritual sensation.

Should I attempt to explain every word or phrase in the mind map above, this could turn out to be a very long article. It’s purpose is more as a prompt to think about the concept of balance. As it is the product of a particular set of perspectives I’ve accumulated, it is unlikely to be definitive but it may help convey some ideas that you may find useful in your own pursuit of truth or meaning.

I’ve written of my personal journey of discovery and how I’ve come to reconcile the competing elements of spirit/physical and intuition/logic which may help point some in the right direction. My hope is that those who find the spiritual dimension most comfortable, venture out of their comfort zone to consider how their interpretation of the world reconciles with the mechanistic reality. Likewise, can those whose world view is rooted in logic and what they can definitively prove, venture into the world of esoterics and intuition in order to help frame their mechanistic interpretation?

To become warriors for truth we need to embrace the whole rather than cherry pick our way according to what feels “comfortable”. Truth is invariably uncomfortable but self-organising, opensource exploration makes the search for truth not only easier but undoubtedly more palatable because it becomes much less a solitary occupation…