Viewing life impartially is one of the least stimulating experiences I know. Biased views, on the other hand, are chock full of emotional tension, highs and lows, loves and hates… it’s exciting! In the same way, a good story is exciting; a ‘cold hard truth’ is often awe-full. This should be fairly evident right off the bat. Now, through correlations, I’ll take it a step further to show how it is not truth we love; it’s the story .
Mea Maxima Culpa
What exactly are biased views? Frankly, any view that points out differences should qualify. Oh shucks, that includes me right now. Paradoxically, I must resort to bias in my attempt to write about truth. I suppose this exemplifies— when cleverness emerges there is great hypocrisy—it’s downright ironic and humbling. Oh well.
No wonder we say, One who knows does not speak; one who speaks does not know… To use words but rarely is to be natural… Much speech leads inevitably to silence. Better to hold fast to the void… and such. Now, with this necessary mea maxima culpa out of the way, I can proceed with this ‘truthful story’.
Tracing every experience back to its dimly lit origins can be a fascinating and useful journey. Doing this over decades has been like tracing the a huge river upstream in search of its source spring. Currently I find fear at the upper-most reaches of this river (see Fear Is The Bottom Line). Is it really the source spring? Time will tell (i.e., previously I felt need/desire was the source). Nevertheless, fear does play a major role in why the story trumps the truth nearly every time, as I hope a few correlations(1) helps point out, as truthfully as possible.
Need -> Effects
Causes <- Fear
This correlation proportion can be read in a circular clockwise direction, like so: Need effects fear, fear causes need. This takes a little peripheral vision to understand (i.e., feel, know, sense, intuit). Step back, relax and let it sink in for a moment. Remember, this fear is not the run away scream-in-terror face of fear we see in the movies, but the void, empty, still, dark, silent side of the ‘circle’. This subtler side of fear is the underlying cause of need.
The interesting thing here is how truth correlates to fear, i.e., truth = void = stillness = dark = silence = nothing = fear, and so on. If you don’t see this association, try correlating truth with the opposites: truth = full = action = bright = sound = something = courage. Well? Which feels closer? If you feel the later correlations fit truth better, I imagine you have difficulty understanding the Tao Te Ching.
The sloppy logic of correlations(1) makes it “clear” then, that truth causes need. I suppose that makes no sense… at least at first. But hang on, there’s more.
The Story We Want To Hear
Illusion -> Effects
Causes <- Truth
Reading this correlation set gives us: illusion effects truth, truth cause illusion. How can truth cause illusion, you may wonder? Consider this a parallel to the old saying, behind every myth is a grain of truth. And of course, illusion adversely effects truth, until there is no more than a grain left in the illusion.
We love the story over truth because the story provides just enough of grains of truth without the bewildering, fear inducing mystery of the whole truth. Each need, or fear, you feel mirrors a truth worthy of looking into. On the other hand, looking down into our truth-pit of fear and need is not all that pleasant. Doesn’t this parallel the practice of shooting the messenger, i.e., the act of lashing out at the (blameless) bearer of bad news. We don’t like listening to what we don’t want to hear. Truth, like heaven and earth, is ruthless, and treats the myriad creatures as straw dogs. The story we like, on the other hand, is the one saying what we want to hear. While slathered in the fluff we feel comfortable with, the story retains just enough truth to make it credible.
Obviously, I’m not much of a story teller (or listener). Correlations is the best tool I’ve found for pointing out the truth with a minimum of story bias.
(1) If you’re new to correlations these posts may help: