Truth & Consequences in Consciousness

Truth & Consequences in Consciousness, Pt. 1

Steve Patterson  /

What is the truth? Truth can briefly be defined as an arbitrary point where experience, observation, perception, and interpretation collide to form the basis of our beliefs. However, due to diplomacy, opinion, flexibility, principals, morality and countless other factors, it is not the same for everyone, and in its totality, it is often met with objection.

Bringing it back a little simpler, take a simple question like, “How do you feel this morning?”

Let’s assume last night, you went to the park for your evening walk and it began to rain. You stepped in a big puddle and your shoes were soaked but you needed to wear them today, and it is winter time. You are outside at the Metro stop, feet freezing, and you mutter to yourself, “I do not feel well; I have a lot to do this morning. I have a busy day ahead.”

True. Your schedule is packed: open the studio in about 40 minutes, be available for that call at 11, and confirm the time and place for a lunch meeting thereafter.

There is no right or wrong. Nothing has an opposite, it is all a level or degree of something. You can not add darkness to put out the light, there is either light or there is not, or at least some amount of light. There is no darkness. It is only a word we use to describe the absence of light. The same can be said of truth, it is the degree of need of some form of evidence to satisfy us in creating a fact. Even if it is something we have been told. There is truth in everything, it is just the degree, like the temperature. Cold is the absence of heat. Just like the light and darkness.

Not forgetting that your feet are blue and you are shivering… while also remembering you stayed up watching the second AND third episode of Netflix season two until 1:15 AM.

Feeling un-well, blaming the schedule, the cold and tired feet — it’s all true. But, in life overall: you’re happy, in good health, and the bills are paid, no biggie. You could also speak truthfully and say, “I’m well, and tomorrow will be better.”

Admittedly, that’s a large consideration for such a simple question, and who wants to unload their daily wagon of woe on another first thing in the morning?

Nonetheless, this is an example of how flexible the truth can be.

Even very big questions sometimes do not have universally true answers. Take for instance, the question of whether the earth is round. Science has documented and measured it, NASA and others have taken photos of it, and we even agree there is evidence of people standing on the moon with the Earth in the background.

However, if you consider all the people on earth, not everybody believes that the earth is round. As absurd as that belief might be to those who do, a lot of people believe the earth is flat. Therefore, at the collective level, humanity is just not sold. The statement “humanity considers the earth to be round” is simply not true. The same could be said of anything.

If we keep asking questions, no matter how evidence-based, we will discover humans as a collective total don’t have a common understanding of anything. It doesn’t mean the outliers are correct. It can be said that “people believe the earth is round,” but in its entirety, it is not a blanket statement, and it lacks consideration of other aspects of consciousness we accept as true.

Assume you are alive. While you may not believe you are, by thinking alone, it is widely accepted that you are a living person. We accept that any thinking person in our presence not dead is alive. We agree you are alive, but we do not universally agree the earth is round. This begs the question as to why we believe what we believe because what is believed or claimed is not always decidedly ‘true.’

How individuals arrive at the truth is based on very localized conditions exclusive to them: what they have been told, what they have learned, what they believe, and a seemingly endless number of other conditions in the context of their own lives. This in mind, we can understand how we arrive at “no absolute truth” very quickly. While perhaps a fascinating conversation for some, this same line of questioning into any subject will reveal there to be no absolute truth at all. This includes even what we think about ourselves and our current condition.

Assuming we consider truth as just what we believe it to be: even as sentient beings, we can never have all of the experience, memory, or learning of another on which to base what we believe to be true. We can never know exactly what is on somebody else’s mind in its totality because we have no idea how it completely got there in the first place. Heck, we probably don’t really know why we believe the things we believe to be true. We just do, because others do and because our biases can be made flexible to justify even the contrary.

I invite you to reevaluate your beliefs, exercise a shift in perspective, perhaps update your definitions (or truths) to reflect what you have learned. Even the dictionary is under constant revision. Great scholars once believed people could not fly. Proven wrong by the Wright Brothers, the accepted truth “people cannot fly” that had existed through all of recorded history was broken. History tells us Thomas Edison did the same with his invention of the lightbulb. Before that, it required more energy to generate light. Now, we add light to darkness with a flip of a switch. Imagine going back to ancient Greece and talking about that! You would be speaking to them the truth, but you would likely be run out of town as a whacko.

Seemingly mundane exercises like this challenge us to expand our minds, and depending on the scope of the intellect, the overall consciousness can be elevated. That is, the pursuit (and attainment) of truth always generates more curiosity, which yields exploration, and thusly, expansion.

Laughter does this as well, of course, as it lifts your mood, lightens your load, and you feel better by doing it. Imagine the experience of considering all that has been written here and then laughing about how silly it truly is.

It is believed the toughest addiction to break is being right. Overcoming this addiction requires one to accept ‘absolute truth’ simply does not exist. Socrates states: “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

We all experience challenges in life, and they are often the consequences of our choices. ‘Right’ and ‘wrong’, like the truth, greatly depend on perspective and are not absolute. This is why it requires the courage to make the best decisions.

Your beliefs (that which you accept as true) and how you engage with others have a tremendous influence on your choices. Having little regard or understanding of your beliefs can create chaos in your life. It may not be apparent, but a clouded consciousness can generate misaligned or inconsistent experiences.

White lies are perhaps the biggest offenders. We know it’s not completely true, we even call it a lie in its name, but we present it as truth. While there is tact and the feelings of others to consider, the trouble with lying is that you have to remember the lie and actively work not to expose the discrepancy. The metaphorical ground you stand on will be more like sand, always shifting depending on the situation – and your eventual falter would be the consequence of your own actions.

The point is: we really know very little about our influence on our own experience. Everything from why does our heart keep beating to why does the wind keep blowing and when did it all begin? There are a seemingly infinite number of questions that we simply do not need to approach if we want to get anything accomplished.

We focus our awareness on that only which is immediately apparent: what we see, feel, hear, believe, etc. to the point of making every decision. This rapid processing of millions of data points form our thoughts and send signals to our physicality that unfold instantly to utter the spoken phrase: “I am fine.”

When taking this into account on a personal level, the complexities are vast. Are we sure we are doing what we need to realize the happiness we seek, to have all the things that we need and want? How do we distinguish between what we need and want?

We are accountable to at least our self for our consequences. By observing what we are doing overall, what we say, how we act, and the choices we make, we are observing what we believe. Are you aware of the beliefs that inform your behavior? Are you aware of the choices you are making, even the seemingly small?

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