David King, MSc, PhD
Writer, Teacher, and Health Psychologist


       davidking2311@gmail.com

"We need not to be let alone. We need to be
really bothered once in a while. How long
is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something
real?" (Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451)
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The Search for Truth…or, Tripping Over Figments

by David King on October 11, 2009

The word TRUTH is perhaps the strangest of all human inventions. This, as of late, has become very clear. I have come to the conclusion that to equate truth with reality is a serious mistake.

Reality is a tricky thing, as it is accurately perceived only by myself, just as it is also accurately perceived only by you. When we try to fit these realities together, there inevitably manifest inconsistencies and varying (or even opposing) interpretations. Why? Because reality is a thing owned by the individual, not by the collective mass. It is that which is perceived and interpreted WITHIN an individual’s temperament, disposition, history, climate, geography, political atmosphere, family, and the list goes on. More importantly, it is that which is created IN our consciousness. You might say, then, that to find reality is to find one’s self.

Truth, on the other hand, is an even greater trickster, for it is the attempt of all of our perceptions and interpretations to agree on a single reality. “One reality born of many.” This is where it gets interesting, for in order to succeed at such a monumental task, individual temperaments, dispositions, histories, etc. (i.e., critical aspects of individual realities) must be sacrificed, or at the very least, pruned back, snipped, and trimmed. Such trimming is a necessary precursor to most truths, leaving us with what may be better described as figments, patchworks of your reality and mine, and his and hers as well.

Nevertheless, truth somehow continues to occupy the highest reality in our collective imagination – one reality to unite us all, yet one that will forever keep us locked in Plato’s Cave. In the past few months, I have learned an important lesson in life: Truth, however attractive, is that which exists in between our realities – and that makes truth a scary thing, however tempting. What is truth to me? I’m not necessarily sure, as it may depend on my mood, what I ate for breakfast, or more simply, the time of day. But I know one thing: Truth is MY reality and mine alone. I hope you can see yours, if even for a moment.

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