“black on black…and white” by sume
Today, my son asked me about truth. I was in the middle of going through bills and mumbled that truth was fact. It’s either true or it isn’t. “How do you know if it’s fact?” he asked. “If it can be proven,” I said.
Good grief. When did my son, my baby start thinking about such philosophical concepts? He’s barely 10 and should be more focused on cartoons and toys. For the last two weeks or so, he’s been bombarding me with questions about life, religion, God and the natural order of the universe. I’ve lost my patience on several occasions, because he usually picks a time when I’m right in the middle of something that needs my full attention. He almost always asks questions that don’t have easy, straight-forward answers. I can’t figure out why the sudden change? He never thought about these things before.
I was talking to my mom today and mentioned it. She said I was the same way and nearly drove her insane with my daily barrage of “what if’s” and “why’s”. “Children are curious and want to know everything,” she said, “You should be use to it by now.” I guess I should be, but I’m use to questions that I can answer with a few sentences. My son is asking questions that force me to break down complicated answers.
In trying to answer his question, it forced me to reflect on my own beliefs. What is truth? Is there a such thing as absolute truth? I was just telling a friend the other day, that I’m not sure if there is a such thing. If there is, then I doubt human beings are able to fully grasp it. I hate thinking about these things but have never been able to help myself. I have a love-hate relationship with philosophy, with things that make me think too deeply. My brain can’t grasp such deep concepts but I’m drawn to them.
For the same reasons, I love to delve as deeply as I can into religion, science, history and matters surrounding the human condition. Perhaps, it’s all because I’m in some desperate search for the truth. But again, what is truth and can human beings slough the static of their own perceptions enough to recognize it?
The sky is blue, right? Well….yes and no. First, you have to define sky. How high is the sky? The higher, you go, the less blue it’s going to be and eventually it’s not “sky” anymore. You’re in space, baby, and that isn’t blue. Even if you stop at the troposphere, the “blue” is simply caused by a combination of light waves and atmospheric conditions. We perceive the affect as blue.
Nerdy, I know and probably a bad example. My point is that our perceptions can “color” what we “see”. What we accept as fact or truth, may not be “true” at all.
Stephen Hawking is quoted as saying, “The Greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
I love that guy. Therein, lies a warning to all of us, that what we think we know, may not be what we think it is. This post is probably totally boring, but it’s something to think about, especially when it comes to judging other’s experiences. I fail in this on a daily basis, but was reminded today by a 10 year-old boy.
When people seek to invalidate another’s experience in order to put forth their own as “truth”, are they not, instead, creating a deception?
Oh gawd. Do I sound pretentious?
*Edit Attacks on adoptees who put forth a less than rosy point of view, have been a source of irritation for me. I know my post could be perceived as kind of a double edged sword, so I want to clarify my intent.
I’m incensed though not surprised by this latest attempt to invalidate her experience and opinion as an adoptee. Ji-in put it very well when she wrote, “It’s one of my biggest regrets about the international KAD community that we continue to draw these invisible lines between ourselves and invalidate one anothers’ experiences. We all have important stories to tell.”