Truth be told: truth is silent. Put differently, there is no truth. Truth is consensus. But consensus is just agreement, not truth. Truth is an illusion of simplicity.
Case in point: are you one or are you many? This brain, for example, that you are using right now to read this sentence is not really an organ, but an organization – a multi-billion army of stand-alone neurons. Which neuron are you? All of them? That’s a cop out, not an answer. You can stroke out and lose a few and still feel like you are there. This neuron or that one, you say? Fact is there is no one neuron that you specifically are…
Where am I going with this? To here: I am simply trying to point out to you that there is nothing simple about who we are and who our partners are. We are bewildering complexities. So, humble yourself. Whoever you are with, you are in front of yet another wonder of this world, far more complex than the hanging gardens of Babylon. We all speak our own language, each conversing in our own Dialect of Subjectivity. No wonder we misunderstand each other. And what a wonder that we now and then manage to feel understood!
Let go of the desire to oversimplify each other. Accept that there is always going to be some unaccounted variance in the equation of communication. And celebrate the privilege of human connection that you still do have.
[excerpt from a book I am working on, “Four Legs of Support”]
Shhhh photo available from Shutterstock
Sunrise – a pre-Copernican myth: sun neither rises nor sets.
Language is made of myths.
This morning – like all such mornings over the past six or so billion years on this planet – unfolds entirely without my assistance…
Language is made of truths.
Knowing how to forgive is an essential, if not the essential skill of love. On that note, in continuation of the 360 Degrees of Compassion series, I’d like to offer you an example of betrayal and forgiveness, from Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell’s famous dystopian novel.
Nineteen Eighty-Four is a very complex work with multiple layers of meaning. To date, the book has been translated into 65 languages – more than any other novel. So, for those of you who aren’t familiar with this work, I will only summarize the part of the story that is relevant to the topic of betrayal and compassion.
Winston Smith, a civil servant/bureaucrat responsible for maintaining the propaganda of the Party, is a citizen of the Big-Brother totalitarian regime. He falls in love with Julia, a mechanic that repairs novel-writing machines. They develop a romantic-dissident relationship in a society that had banned both love and freedom of thought. They are set up by a party member, O’Brian, and are eventually captured by Thought Police. They are interrogated and tortured. O’Brian explains that the Party wants power for the sake of power and aims to extinguish any form of free thought and individual partiality (such as romantic attachments; love, after all, is a form of partiality and individual bias). During this psychologically and physically trying re-programming and re-education, Winston quickly breaks down – he confesses anything just to escape further turmoil. O’Brian, who is personally responsible for this re-education, however, is not convinced. He believes that Winston still loves Julia. To help Winston break through this attachment, he designs a custom-made torture for Winston.
The following re-formatted dialogue from the novel will help set up the scene further.
O’Brian: “You asked me once what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst world.” (The door opened… A guard came in, carrying something made of wire, a box or a basket of some kind.) “The worst thing in the world varies from individual to individual. It may be burial alive, or death by fire, …
To understand happiness you have to understand the illusion of time:
Related: Time To Be Timeless
Pocket watch photo available from Shutterstock
At some point today you might find yourself in front of a mirror, looking at your pseudo self. That image in the mirror – that’s, of course, not you. You are not out there, on the surface of the mirror. You are right here, inside, a mirror of your own. Unplug sensorially: kill the video-input: close your eyes. And just stand there – in the here-and-now of your am-ness – reflecting upon your self-mirroring, self-remembering self.
Lotus Effect: Shedding Suffering and Rediscovering Your Essential Self (New Harbinger, 2010)