Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thinking For Yourself and Saving the World

You gotta think for yourself.

When you hear something that sounds crazy, unbelievable... why is that?  What are the questions that pop into your mind?  And do you seek answers for them? 

You go to work.  You start asking why.  Who?  What?  You believe or you don't.  But you question.  You go through the truth finding process.

So if it seems unbelievable, honor that.  Perhaps it is not to be believed until you can gather some more key information.

So much hinges on this very act.  The act of staying true to yourself, of staying true to truth itself.

Does truth exist monolithicly, static and unchangeable?  Or is it in constant motion?

It seems to me at this point in time that truth is a nebulous, but stationary quality that everything else cycles around.

A couple of things that came to light this week...  the first within the continuing presidential election campaign that voraciously ravages so much energy and so many of our resources.  And there are so many contradictions and so much confusion that cycles through this process that truth is often veiled and obstructed, tinkered with.  From one perspective, truth can be black or white, with no acceptance of gray in between.  From another, the colors just don't mix into a clear resounding picture.  But we try nonetheless to make sense of it all.

And we all do it in our own way, spending bits of time tuning in or ignoring, assessing truth when it feels right for us to do so.

If one makes up their mind too soon, it can cause stagnation and the greater truth that is presented over time, one that takes a longer time to be birthed into existence, is lost.  It is ignored, disbelieved, not truly observed or experienced.

There has been some volatile argument and discussion over the incident at the Libyan embassy that ended the lives of four Americans.  Some have been saying that there is a cover up of the truthful, actual events that took place that day in order that a more favorable political picture could be painted for the people in charge.  Some are saying that a general is being fired after being told to "stand down" on the day of the incident to cover up the culpability of the commander in chief.

I don't pretend to know what happened that day, but here's something else to consider.  I'm not in the military or the political popularity business.  But from the little research that I've done, it seems that this angle that is being trumpeted loudly by the "right" side of the political spectrum is founded on speculation that is specious at best.

But you've got to make up your own mind;  Don't take my word for it.  It's gotta make sense to you before you know how to respond.  So I won't recount the ins and outs of the supposed facts and details.  That part is for you to observe and procure at your leisure.  It's part of the fact checking process that has to happen.

My wife and I saw the movie "Argo" this past week.  I was alive when the events that the movie recounts occurred, but I was young and I didn't remember hearing about them.  So now, twenty years later, I discovered and experienced them for the first time.  And they were presented in a way such that the hindsight could now explain them more succinctly and thoroughly, and our extracted perspective could better judge the truth.  The movie recreated the events, but the truth still filtered through everything over time.  The truth is what stays the same, after all the falsifications and judgements and opinions are floated over and above and beyond.  The truth is what stays.  The truth is the granite exposed when the other transient muck of the mountain erodes away over time.

Even more than that is the way our perspective changes over time, if we are alive and changing like all living things.  Also this week, just yesterday in fact, I ran across the story of Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov and how he saved the world.  His story is something that is only now reaching it's way into my consciousness, and yet my consciousness is still in existence because he made the decisions that he did and allowed me and all of us to continue in our world.  If he hadn't been of such character and belief, there might not be a world today for humans to live and argue in.

Sometimes we don't hear it, but the truth is always there.  It gets to us eventually.  Finding the truth is the impetus for all of life.  Not because we need to find the ultimate truth in order to justify our very existence.  But because discovery feels good.  But it's a process, not a linear event with a beginning and an end that, once achieved, is static and unchanging.  The world keeps turning, just like it would have if nuclear war had destroyed us back in the sixties.  There would still be something, living, moving, and questing for the truth.

I leave you with Richard Feynman, because I care, and because I can.