truth


Random quote of the day:

“No, mythology is not a lie, mythology is poetry, it is metaphorical. It has been well said that mythology is the penultimate truth—penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words. It is beyond words, beyond images, beyond the founding rim of the Buddhist Wheel of Becoming. Mythology pitches the mind beyond that rim, to what can be known but not told. So this is the penultimate truth.”

—Joseph Campbell, interviewed by Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Key and Peele, Celine Dion, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“A great truth is a truth whose opposite is also a truth.”

—Thomas Mann, Essay on Freud

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Key and Peele, Celine Dion, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“No one looks you straight in the eye when they’re telling the truth.”

—Sara Gran, Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Key and Peele, Celine Dion, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“History is present. That’s why every generation writes it anew. But what most people think of as history is its end product, myth.”

—E. L. Doctorow, The Paris Review, Issue 101, Winter 1986

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Key and Peele, Celine Dion, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“What people believe prevails over the truth.”

—Sophocles, The Sons of Aleus, Fragment 86

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Key and Peele, Celine Dion, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“He who foretells the future lies, even if he tells the truth.”

—Moroccan proverb

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Key and Peele, Celine Dion, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Random quote of the day:

“Truth is a dream, unless my dream be true.”

—George Santayana, Sonnet V

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Key and Peele, Celine Dion, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

 

1. Let me thread you a story…(1-12)
2. Howdy, folks. I know it’s been a long time since you’ve heard from me—and I’m not a’tall sure anyone has a mind to listen to an old country narrator like me any more—but sometimes a person has to be tellin’ stories, even if they’s talkin’ to themselves.
3. Truth is, I fell into a pit of despair over the way of things in the larger world, and the state of things in Portalville itself. All the stories in the world, no matter how sarcastic, didn’t seem to make a lick of sense to anyone so I figured, why bother?
4. The other problem is when you’re a confabulator and things happenin’ in the real world is more confabulous than what a storyteller could come up with and still be believed, it does somewhat take the gunpowder outten your musket.
5. Still, like I said, I got that need to tell stories whether anyone believes ‘em or not. Like that time President Turps joined forces with Portalville’s former mayor and minor god of chaos, Belial Covfefe. Covfefe got voted out of office here in Portalville fair and square—
6. once townsfolk got wise to his evil ways—but he kept screamin’ that the whole thing was rigged even as he packed his bags and left in a huff. Turns out, he became one of them political consultants on President Turps’ re-election committee.
7. Said he’d learned from his mistakes here in Portalville and if President Turps wanted to be re-elected he, Covfefe, would show him the way. Before you knew it, the president had him a revolvin’ set of heads on his shoulders.
8. Whenever anyone called him out as a liar to his face, which nervy journalists and late-night TV show hosts sometimes had the balls to do, he’d swivel another head around and that one would get all riled & declare, “I never said any such thing. These are all just fake truths.”
9. All’s he had to do was keep track of which head told which lie & switch to a new head that had no part in the lyin’. Trouble was, you can only fit so many heads on one pair of shoulders and the president told so many lies he soon ran out of heads to do his denying for him.
10. So the president started sproutin’ little bitty heads out his rear end—but that wasn’t telegenic. Folks didn’t want to see footage of that process. For a time the news was filled with shots of the back of the president’s drawers with these tiny muffled voices comin’ out.
11. Had to shove them microphones so close to his pants that people finally said, “Enough!” ‘Course, they’s always folks what believe anything the president tells ‘em without regard to common sense. Even if it is comin’ out his rear end.
12. You can read the entire sage (so far) of Portalville at https://pjthompson.dreamwidth.org/1672524.html

Random quote of the day:

“It doesn’t matter what people want to hear. It doesn’t matter if people like you. It doesn’t matter if the whole world thinks you’re crazy. It doesn’t matter whose heart you break. All that matters is truth.”

—Sara Gran, Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Key and Peele, Celine Dion, or Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

I was having a very interesting conversation over on Dreamwidth with my friend notasupervillain in the Comments section of my last Musings post (July 24, 2019). It grew into a post-long exchange. I have taken my part of the conversation and reproduced it here, cleaned it up, and expanded a bit. I’ve left the original exchange as is in the Dreamwidth Comments.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not young enough to be absolutely certain I know the truth. The shades of grey multiply with each year. But that’s okay. The things that are important are beyond those kinds of thought processes. We can feel around their edges, if we try real hard and remember they’re always changing shape anyway.

—from my original Musings post of July 24

I’ve known many truths, but they keep shifting as time passes. So, I’ve stopped trying to hold onto them and I certainly don’t try to convince anyone of their validity. Not like I used to when I was young. Whatever works for as long as it works.

This shiftingness of truth applies even to (or especially to) religious faith. I’ve long maintained that faith is experiential, not received wisdom. I don’t reject received wisdom out of hand—often it is quite valuable—but if all you have is that received wisdom, faith is never going to withstand the rigors of living. Once you’ve crossed that boundary of experience, though, faith has the ability to adapt and change. If you let it. Some people are so wedded to a single interpretation of spiritual experience they can’t see beyond it and try bending all of life to their rigid mold…until it breaks. Adapt or die.

I’ve never been religious, but I consider myself spiritual. That spirituality is fostered and sustained by numerous experiences I’ve had that convince me there is something in the universe besides materiality. Some of these experiences I’ve had alone, some with others, some have been creepy, some have given me great comfort. But they are the basis of my faith.

Now, because I am who I am and always questioning, I’ve long-since reconciled myself to the fact that they may be illusion, “mistaken identity,” brain chemistry, etc., etc. As I have more and more experiences, though, it gets harder to deny that something weird is going on. But I try to stay flexible with it, not confine it. I let it seep inside me, grow and change—I stay mindful.

If I was a strict Baptist or a Catholic, for instance (and as I understand it from some strict Baptists and Catholics of my acquaintance), I might have to consider some of these experiences as manifestations of the devil (because they believe all ghosts and other things are evil spirits trying to fool us into thinking we’ve been contacted by our deceased loved ones, etc., etc. ad nauseam). If I believed there was one God who was just and righteous and ruled over everything, I might ask myself, “So why did He allow the Holocaust to happen?” and it might shatter (or at least erode) my faith.

But the one thing that I know absolutely is that I don’t know what rules the universe. It may be nothing, it may be a lot of somethings, it may be one something in many aspects, it may be something I can’t even conceive of in with my limited human POV. I don’t even know if it’s a just universe. I know what I feel and what I’ve come to believe, but that hardly constitutes proof that someone else can take to the bank of faith. All I can really count on are my experiences, not the received wisdom of a religion or religions—which are always filtered through limited human perception anyway. That wisdom may point me down a path, but I am always going to have to be the one who walks that path and decides for myself what I see. Those experiences are not something you can hand off to someone and say, “Here, this happened to me so you should believe as I do.” If they haven’t had their own experiences, it’s not going to stick. But that hasn’t stopped many people trying to do just that through the centuries.

I know that I do not know, and I have my experiences, which allow me to feel comforted—if not always comfortable—in the midst of a vast uncertainty. They allow me to adapt and change, and to keep seeking answers, following paths, being surprised when new things occur to me that I hadn’t considered before, and moving forward.

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