They Can’t Handle The Truth (What Is Truth?)

I’ve often said that there are two seemingly near-universal human frailties that have caused an inordinate amount of suffering in the world. The first is the overestimation of humanity’s collective evolution & sophistication in relation to other animal species.

The second is: people generally seem to be unable to handle the truth.

For some (perhaps much-needed) context, for a while about a decade ago I used to be “famous” (you know, Internet-famous) for being a “truth-teller.” Val, it was said (by some people) spoke “truth to power.”

Well, first thing I noticed amongst all that hullabaloo was that while some people seemed to like this notion of me (such as I was, such as I am) being this “truth to power” individual…some people absolutely hated it with the passion of several angry imploding suns.

But that wasn’t the most striking observation.

No, the most striking observation in the midst of it all was the fact that some of the very same “journalists” (you know: niche bloggers, not that there’s anything wrong with that) who first proclaimed with seeming admiration that I was a truth-teller rather quickly & publicly hated me with the passion of several angry imploding suns the moment my truth wavered from their personal definition of truth.

This all brings up the rather thorny idea that perhaps Truth is more subjective rather than objective; personal rather than universal.

I am more than aware of the problematic implications of even the simplest, most seemingly-harmless suggestion that Truth with the big “T” might have a subjective element to it. In fact, such a suggestion can easily bump you up to the top of the list of “Truth-Renegades-and-not-in-a-good-way.”

For example, say you have a global pandemic emergency, and a sizable amount of Folks do not believe said pandemic exists (or is as severe as the authorities claim). That’s problematic in terms of stemming the spread of the illness, which could cost many lives.

But.

It is probably also true that there are “gray areas” in all this…things we don’t yet understand…nuances…that a situation of such magnitude contains multitudes.

But I’ve already said too much.

***

Human brains in 3rd-density reality seem to require, more often than not, binary designations. “All-or-nothing.” “Friend-or-foe.” “Good-or-evil.”

I have seemed to have resisted this likely conclusion for a great deal of my life—perhaps, as it was once suggested to me, to my great personal detriment.

***

The truth is…I don’t easily fit One Category. The truth is: most humans probably don’t either (but the truth is…they also probably, in a sense, do).

***

I once worked for a highly idealistic & experimental organization with a strong and clearly-stated Progressive stance. They championed all manner of noble social causes as a focal point of their services—stated social causes including worker rights.

Behind-the-scenes, however, this Progressive Organization (largely funded, as it turned out, by old Reagan/Bush Republicans) was sort of a problematic mess when it came to worker rights. Not getting into the details of it all, but at some point I had to confront the second-in-command of the company about what was going on; as it just didn’t impact me directly (not getting your wages will do that to you) but the vulnerable young and/or immigrant staff (who were now being asked to essentially work for free “for the good of the company & our ideals”).

And no matter how polite I tried to make that verbal confrontation—how reasonable, how relatively milquetoast the approach—I could literally see the soul of this once perky seemingly free-spirited Hippie darken & die right before my eyes.

People can’t handle the truth. Sometimes. Seemingly often.

But what is Truth?

***

People can’t seem to handle big truths, little truths, and most truths in-between if said truths conflict with their personal truths. Said “personal truths” usually considered by them to be Universal Truths.

“Personal truths” can also be considered “coping truths.” Think about all the little “truths” we take for granted every day just to keep going on this problematic blue-green marble; all the possible Stuart Smalley-level delusions. Do we have the right to take away—or, at least, publicly challenge—other people’s coping-truths?

Well…it can be argued that yes, we have the right to challenge those personal coping-truths when they start hurting & stepping over the rights of others.

But it’s complicated. Life is complicated. 3rd-density everyday reality is complicated. And yet Humans—who, as I pointed out at the very beginning of this rant, have largely vastly overestimated their relative sophistication to other animal species—also seem to default to a binary.

***

Anyway…these are the sorts of things I think about at 3:00 in the morning. Thank you for reading, and enjoy the rest of your day.

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