Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Truth About Truth

At this point in my life, I've come to the following counter-intuitive conclusions:
  • Speaking Truth can be a selfish act
  • Truth is not the ultimate answer to everything
  • Truth is a means to an end, and that end is validation of identity
I am reminded that most of us are trained to become masters of data, knowledge, and correctness... into knowing things and being able to analyze things, but after all is said and done, we exist in fragile human frames that respond to emotions more so than any truth.

It is this little quirk about us that allows us to smoke harmful cigarettes when we know that it may bring a horrible painful death upon us... because the truth of danger is drowned out by the emotion of want.

And it is this quirk that can make us walk away from a relationship at the slightest sign of strife... because the truth of safety can be drowned out by the emotion of fear.

Inversely, one might stay in a harmful relationship because the truth of harm is drowned out by an emotion that is considered to be "love" by the beholder.

The compass always points to identity. Most people accept only the truths that support their self image... what they already know or wish to be true about who they are. The reality you choose to accept is based on who you think you are.

Every word, every silence, every action and inaction serves an explicit EMOTION more so then truth. Every meaningful interaction has an emotional intent from the source, and an emotional effect on the receiver. Ideally, the emotion between source and receiver would coincide, but this is not always the case because truth is personal while emotions are universal.

You always have a choice... to either be correct or compassionate.

The human brain is infinitely capable of rationalizing any truth as being the absolute truth. This "absolute truth" is personal. Our brain can convince itself into believing or denying anything if it does not fit an existing model of what we already "know" about the world and ourselves. If somebody wants to believe that something is true, they will find a way to rationalize it.

You always have a choice... to either challenge one's identity with unsolicited correctness or choose to coexist with different truths that lead to common emotions.