This post is about 2,700 words and takes about 13-15 minutes to read.
For those of you that have already taken the opportunity to peruse the Inception Publishing site in detail, work with me personally, or read some of my other materials, you will have noticed my preoccupation with truth. In fact, the ultimate goal of Inception Publishing is to introduce you to fundamental truths, and train you in methods of truth access, truth identification, and truth directed decision making. This goal, and the subject of truth itself, immediately brings up a variety of responses and reactions even before the subject of truth gets a reasonable discussion. The most common reaction is some version of:
“The truth? Says who? Who died and made you the determiner of the truth?”
Usually there’s some under the breath muttering that follows that set of questions too, but this is a family show, so I won’t mention that part.
So, being the optimist I am, I thought I’d go ahead and address this truth problem humanity seems to be struggling with head on in one of my early blog entries in order to start a conversation about the rethinking of what truth is, and how it plays a foundational role in human experience. Are you cringing yet? Don’t worry, this should be a bit easier than you might be thinking.
It’s my observation that the truth has gotten a bad reputation as a subject matter for discussion for a few key, seemingly impenetrable reasons.
- There are many people afraid of being truthful for fear of being discovered for past lies and deceptions, or else a fear of being exposed as ignorant or fraudulent. This fear drives them to be consistently less than truthful, and hyperbolic, which then makes interactions so fraught with untruthful content that most of us have halfway given up on the truth. For a lot of us, we start with the assumption that everyone is lying, until we learn otherwise.
- Humans are fundamentally terrible at determining the difference between reality (the truth of the situation), and fantasy, fiction, or misperception. It’s well founded now that many aspects and functions of the brain make little or no distinction between a fictional or augmented story, and the facts. This situation leads to a problem where someone can hear about or experience a situation that is wrought with lies or fictions, and completely integrate those truthless situations into a narrative they perceive as factual. Given this fact, many of us realize that every story we hear is suspect, and so even vociferous insistences about the truth are doubted.
- Similar to number 2 above, most of us have been somewhat inadvertently taught to conflate our perspectives and perceptions, with “the truth.” This has resulted in the hyper relativistic idea that I have "a truth," and you have your own "truth" that might be totally different, and that’s just fine as long as we are all tolerant of each other. This is a gross misuse of the concept of truth. I’d even go so far as to say that this is a complete redefining of truth, and thus, requires a different word.
- Too many folks hijack the concept of the truth for their own selfish or idealistic ends. Included in this list are some religious people, many politicians, tricksters of all sorts, business people, the medical and pharmaceutical industries, and dictators. That is an abbreviated list of course, because you really could include nearly everyone and nearly every institution. The rule for many of us is that, the more some person or group insists they have represented the truth, the more likely it is that they are out to get something from you. This erosion of trust in nearly all corners of society has left us modern folk intensely skeptical.
- Another somewhat invisible but planetary sized problem with bringing up truth for discussion, is that many people strongly believe that being “right” is more valuable than being truthful. If you were to accuse the average person of this belief, they’d likely deny it vehemently, and then launch into a proof as to why they are right about not needing to be right. However, there is no need to doubt that humans are seriously into the imaginary concept of "right and wrong." Simply examine how we have built our societies. Most of the core structures that make up society, like partisan politics, religions, legal systems, and the concept of ownership, all are built upon the basic premise that “they” are wrong, and “we” are right. This belief habit leads to intense entrenchment, and a sense of always being separate from each other. Thus, when one group claims to have a truth, it only takes a minute for another to rise up and claim otherwise. Actual truth gets entirely lost in the tussle.
- Last problem, and certainly not the least of these truth acceptance impediments, is the human resistance to change. At lower levels of consciousness and development, we have a nearly survival level need to maintenance previously held positions and beliefs. People will literally see factual evidence contradicting their long held beliefs and positions, and then concoct ridiculous justifications to continue in their error. Without getting into a lengthy psychological examination of this syndromic insanity, I will say that there is, at root, a fear of the unknown world of new revelations that also requires a reconnoitering of values, beliefs, justifications, and lifestyles. Frankly, it’s just too scary for most to imagine thinking differently, and living differently, when presented with a truthful concept that is contradictory to one’s current worldview; and so, people just deny that there can be a truth that is other than what they think they already know.
Let me be clear, these are all significant human impediments to the acceptance of truth. I have no illusions that choosing to personally and professionally advocate for the adoption of radical truthfulness is going to make me anything other than unpopular to many, and for some time. However, I have a lot of trust in you, so I’m going to walk out on the thin ice anyway.
The case for transitioning into greater truthfulness
Here’s a few points that I’d like you to consider about this whole truth thing. My essential points are simple. There are some reliable truths in the universe, and choosing to align with those truths makes life considerably more enjoyable. Let me start with the reliability thing.
We are already being truthful, we just need to expand that habit
It is not true that you can jump off of a ten story building, land on the concrete sidewalk, and then get up and walk away unharmed. This is because of some basic laws of physics that we are all subject to. You may not know the details of the mathematics of gravity and motion, but you are likely clear that jumping off that roof is a bad idea if you intend to live another day, no matter what anyone might do to convince you otherwise. You are probably going to stick to the truth about the whole gravity thing.
Similarly, it’s the truth that an electrical shock from an outlet can be seriously harmful, so you are careful with electricity. A hot stove can result in a painful burn if you touch it, so you don’t, at least not on purpose. Gravity, motion, heat, and electricity are all examples of natural forces that result in particular truths in our experience. There are just certain reliable physical laws that lead us to accept fundamental truths, and so we live and choose based upon these truths if we intend to be well. You are making thousands of these kinds of decisions every day; thus, you are already living truthfully to a certain extent. Strangely though, we humans often make exceptions to the truth in other areas of our lives.
The most significant example of how we make strange exceptions to the acceptance of truth, is in our cultivation of fear. When you create a fear thought, the brain and body respond to that fear as a command to protect you, as though your life were under some form of defined threat. We call it stress, and generating chronic stress through the creation of fears, is taking the fast track to pain, disease, and death.
In essence, if you walk away from this article and start worrying about whether or not you are going to be able to pay the bills this month, then you are afraid, and the body and brain are freaking out because you just told your system that you may well end up penniless, homeless, and eventually dead under a bridge being eaten by a wild pack of voracious cats. Hyperbole? Nope. That’s how your body interprets, “I may not be able to pay the bills.” You are hurting yourself simply because you are not being truthful. The truth is that the creation of fears of future difficulties does nothing whatsoever to get the bills paid. The fact might be that you may require some additional funds to pay the bills, but it is not a form of truth to redundantly say to yourself, “I may not be able to pay the bills.” That is a form of self- destruction akin to jumping off the tall building, or at least, like touching the hot stove on purpose. There will be pain without being truthful.
Expanding your intelligence in such a way that logically equates self-harm and harm to others with a lack of awareness of the truth, is the beginning of applying simple truths in a way that benefits you, every time. Making a habit of this expansion, is the beginning of significant improvement in your life.
Society already functions on truth, we just need to get better at it
While it may seem to be entirely the opposite case, it’s true there is little or no productivity in society without truthfulness. For example, just the other day I purchased something at a restaurant with a credit card. I trusted that the server, the restaurant owner, and even the accountant for the restaurant weren’t going to take my credit card info and use it for their own purposes. It is a fundamental truth that all stealing and fraud result in destruction of some sort. The restaurant and I have an unwritten agreement on this fact. Trust is anchored in truth, and if I don’t trust a business to be truthful, then I am not going to be doing business with that company. This basic fact holds in government, schools, churches, policing, and even in sports. Trust is built on truth, and society is built on trust. Most societies may have very serious problems with the execution of these concepts, but that just means there is plenty of room for more truth!
Nature already functions truthfully, so we just need to learn to be natural
There is no lying in nature. Sure, there are some very tricky animals, but there aren’t any young aardvarks telling their parents they will be sleeping over at a friend’s house so they can then go out to a party with older aardvark’s, and drink aardvark beer. There aren’t any planets working against the laws of the universe. There’s never been a time when a planet just decided it didn’t feel like orbiting a particular star any longer because it was offended by how hot it was all the time. Nature follows universal, naturally occurring rules because that’s just how everything works. That is, until you get to humans.
We humans have a funny little habit of imagining that things work a particular way, and then making choices based upon that imagining, regardless of whether the imagining or the choices have any basis in fact or are coherent with basic natural rules. The Earth is not flat, the entire universe does not revolve around the Earth, and nothing is ever static. These facts are confirmed, and yet humans once thought otherwise (there’s probably some that still do). The same is happening now, only we have a complex set of beliefs and imaginings about ourselves that violate fundamental, universal rules and facts.
One of the most problematic examples of this is our belief in the imaginary idea of separateness. Without getting too metaphysical or geeky, I can tell you with scientific certainty, that you are energetically and informationally connected to absolutely everything and everyone. There is nothing you can think, or say, or do that doesn’t have some notable effect on the rest of us. Yet, if we as a species accepted this truth, then we wouldn’t destroy others’ life and land, because those "others" are merely extensions of ourselves. Stated differently, when you accept that another person is just as valuable as you are, you no longer have any justification for rendering harm of any sort on anyone. That is, unless you believe that you are worthy of being harmed because you have no real value. This would, of course, be untruthful also.
The universe has an infrastructure of inherent core functions that everything is built upon, and that drives all action. These functions are truths that Nature follows, and each moment that we try to buck that system, we are setting ourselves up for more pain and disaster. We understand this in some ways, and I am simply proposing that we consider applying the truth in all areas of our thought and action.
This truth thing isn’t too crazy
You can probably see that there is serious reliability to the truth thing, especially seen through the lens of ‘natural forces,’ and that you are really already abiding by many truths. Your individual transition from following some truth rules, to following most or all of them, is not a leap across a giant cavern. It is more like a hike down into and through a pleasant valley, and up the hill to the side of the mountain that was really always your natural destination.
Too much metaphorical silliness? OK, I was just trying make this blog somewhat more scenic. Let’s get to the end of this little journey.
Here’s the conclusion. It only makes sense to accept that there are fundamental truths that we can adhere to, and choose to integrate into all areas of our lives and societies. It’s a simple question of some learning, and change of habit. If this sounds naive to you, then you’ve probably become fairly doubtful based on much negative experience in the world, and limited experience in living truthfully. I don’t mean that as a criticism. I was there once too. Heck, I was ugly sarcastic and down on humanity for a number of years. Samuel Beckett was practically my idol. I get it. However, I’m a practical person and it became clear to me that my negativity about myself, and humanity in general, wasn’t getting me anywhere. So, I tried something else. That something was an initially scary transition into a truth based existence. It took some time, but the payoff was huge.
As I mentioned before, this blog entry is only designed to get us started in the conversation about a broader and more accurate understanding of truth, and what is possible when that understanding turns into clarified intention and action. In future entries and books we’ll be diving into this in greater detail. For now though just contemplate these foundational ideas, and what they might mean to you.
Thanks for taking a few minutes to consider the truth. Until next time, be inceptional!