Truth is never the same to everyone
I believe it was William Shakespeare who said; “There is nothing good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.” My wording of the quote may not be completely accurate, but I’m sure the meaning is. I’m also sure that the statement is not really correct. We humans have become geniuses at rationalizing our desires to justify our actions. We have become experts at finding a reason to excuse our desires, even to the point of blaming someone else. “He made me do it.” A wrongful act may give us a moment of satisfaction, but we must do a bit of rationalizing, or juggling the facts, to accept our actions.
Our minds are designed to respect facts. That is a basic reality of being human. There are things that are bad, and things that are good, regardless of how, or what we think. Let’s allow Shakespeare, that he may have been a very intelligent person, but he was as human as the rest of us, and not aware of the progress we have come to in our understanding of the world today. He was also making a great generalization, which may have had rationalizations he thought not worth considering. He died 304 years ago. His world was very different from the one we live in today. Over time, things may change, but not facts.
I remember when I was about 7 years old my Sunday school teacher said something about things not being good or bad luck, but the result of good or bad judgments. I spoke up and said that if you dropped you bread and jelly and it landed jelly down that was bad luck. If it landed jelly up it was good luck. So much for little kids, but some of us grownups need to understand the implications, and keep the floors clean.
Getting serious, we all have a mind which governs our bodily functions, even in ways that are beyond our own conscious control. Our breathing, digestion process, our heartbeat, and many various gland excretions, which supposedly keep things where they belong etc. Our system, as with all creatures, runs largely on automatic brain function. If we had to control all of this consciously, we’d be in real trouble.
Do you suppose that many of us get ourselves in trouble by taking on ideas in our mind that might get us somewhere temporarily, but would also introduce into our systems a current of contradiction, which would leave one function or more in states of confusion. Isn’t it possible that many of mankind’s problems result from the diverse ideas some of us across the globe cling to? Surely we all cling to ideas that we introduce into to our logical intelligence, things which are simply contradictions to what is actually true, and reality supporting. Do not such things give our minds an unconscious, but contradictory concern, in seeking what is true. Our minds are truly our lives, and our paths to understanding. Is our twisting of truth sometimes the cause of our troubles?
When we take on ideas which are not true, but promise us something we desire, are we not going down a path to nowhere, or possibly one which leads over the cliff? Haven’t we been born with the ability too understand reality for a purpose? Isn’t that the determining ability which makes us different from all other creatures? In defying the development of our minds, aren’t we giving up our humanity, to become just another beast? We do after all have choices.
For better or worse, are we sometimes more anxious than wise in our efforts to define reality to fit our personal desires. Could our self interest be one of our greatest stumbling blocks to understanding reality? It certainly has been true for many. Are some of us simply out of touch with reality? Isn’t learning the truth and reality the basic purpose in our lives? May God bless America.
Richard Westlund is a Collins resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org