Tag Archives: truth

Hidden Records Don’t Skip

Friends,

Fellow blogger, Finn Longman wrote this post today which prompted me to write the comment which I will now copy here as a unique and exciting, never before seen blog post.

As an aside, writer’s block comes periodically to me when it’s time to blog, but I never have a problem taking a position and commenting on someone else’s ideas (for better or worse). Gonna keep that in mind and maybe transplant more comments into posts…..

So, read this and then go read Finn’s post:

I think it’s good that you’re realistic about the impossibility of deleting something forever. Now that I am taking one foot out of freelance/backpacker/digital nomadry and dipping my toe into being part of society, I have thought a lot about how to separate myself from my antics of the past (and present). A nom de plume helps, but a cursory google search will quickly reveal my legal name -and I don’t try and keep it a secret either.

I guess I am against deleting or curating our past. Please don’t take this as me shitting on you, it’s just a personal choice, but I really think that I would do myself greater harm by going back to facebook circa 2010 and deleting comments like “gimme a call when you this, nigga!” from a friend’s wall.

I cringe when I go back looking for old photos and see comments like this but I also laugh at how carefree we were playing in the frontier that was social media before it got suburbanized.

But it’s more than memories, its this bad feeling in my gut I get when I even think about deleting comments; when I do something wrong by my own standards. It’s like I’m trying to change the past. Or better yet, reality.

A wise man at a party once told me about his trinary….. trinitarian?? -he viewed life as three thirds:

Actor: The discrete facts of your life.
Character: The narrative you create.
Performance: How you are received by society.

I can’t change the facts of my life, but I can control which character I am playing. My character spoke frivolously and carelessly when he was younger, and even today he maintains an irreverence and sense of mischief which he is convinced he must preserve to maintain the twinkle in his eye and the joy in his heart. It’s a good character I think -I’ve been researching it for years and I’m ready to lean into the role. EDIT: Even better, the character doesn’t incorporate facts that are untrue or omit facts that aren’t pretty. There’s less anxiety when you wear a character which is tailor-fitted to you; less chance of being called out as a pretender. Ultimately the best role you play is the one best suited to you. The reaction of the Philistines in the peanut gallery to our performance matters less than the punishment we receive for playing an untrue character; that punishment is reckoned in anguish of the soul.

If the audience doesn’t like my masterful performance, I’ll seek a stage elsewhere.

Thanks for the inspiration to write, Finn

-Dre

Best,

-Dre (lol, redundant)

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Pyramid of Truth

Friends,

When it comes to human perception and comprehension, I think absolute truth is mostly unknowable. We tend to float around the truth with approximations of it shaded by our own biases, perspective and rigor in pursuing knowledge on that tack. If there is a fixed, universal truth, we may as well consider it an unreachable, imperceptible ideal which we strive toward in what is essentially an act of faith. We simply don’t have the faculties to perceive/comprehend it, though we can get closer and infinitely closer approximations of it.

Honestly though, we could almost consider this inability to reach/perceive/comprehend truth a mercy, for imagine how much difficulty we would have if, grasping the complete truth we tried to communicate it to our fellows. Rare is the individual who can communicate the truth of something without bias and rarer still the one who can listen and hear without objection.

Instead, I think that human perceptions of truth in any realm are like looking up at the top of a pyramid -where you stand around the base might give you a view of the north, south, east and west-facing aspects of the top (and that might be considered your politics/religion/school of thought/prejudices on that issue). But the higher you advance upward from that position at the base, in that linear mindset? Your view of the truth/tip stays the same (though maybe the fine details get clearer)

Think about it; the only way to gain a more complete view of the tip is to walk around the base. To carry the analogy further, this is akin to holding, and perhaps even arguing, different positions to experientially understand their truth. A simple example, might be a lifelong Marxist vs. an someone who became Marxist after spending most of their life as a Rational Choice Individualist: in this scenario, who might be said to have a more complete view of the truth? I would say the latter. It matters little how you move from position and stance throughout your life, what matters instead is how much work and effort you put into understanding each position as you adhere to it.

If you think about each position, you walk around the base.

If you talk about each position, you walk around the mid-portion of the pyramid.

If you do/live/act each position, you traipse about the upper portion with a closer view of each side of the tip.

And whether circling the pyramid at the bottom, middle or top, what happens when you see the pinnacle, the ideal, the tip from all directions? Well, if you can remember accurately how it looked from each perspective you can put together in your mind’s eye a composite image of the entire tip -something that can only be seen in real-time from above as if you were aloft above the pyramid looking down at it. And knowing what the entire tip/truth looks like is at least as good as, if not better than, seeing it.

Isn’t this a transcendence of that particular issue/question/pyramid/hierarchy?

I would say yes.

What I said earlier about the absolute truth being unknowable notwithstanding, there are many microcosmic domains whose pyramids of truth we have ascended and transcended in our individual lives. These are the domains where we might be said to have achieved mastery, or at least something functionally close to it. And even if the idea of inequality implied by ascending the pyramid troubles you due to a commitment to social justice, you can’t deny that as we build up our skills and aptitudes and knowledge, it certainly feels like we are ascending above others.

***********************************************

The pyramid never ceases to amaze me and enlighten me as a a conceptual tool for understanding the world and complex ideas. If only ancient people had erected pyramids everywhere on the planet to signify how key they were to understanding universal truth.

Best,
-Dre

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A Unified Worldview vs. A Dualistic One

Friends,

The video counterpart for this post can be found here.

There is a prevalent myth in the Western  world about “celebrating diversity.” It is a noble idea in theory but I argue that in practice it leads to problems. You see, by celebrating diversity we have to presuppose separation and difference. And certainly, to look around the world it’s very easy to view things and people as individuated and self-contained, rather than seeing them as all part of the same global process. To quote Jacque Fresco, “You don’t see the plug up our asses,” so it’s very easy to forget that we’re all connected to something larger.

This illusion of separation is particularly deceiving in the world of opinion, viewpoint, ideology and religion. Everyone espouses and subscribes to their own ideas in these fields and if they are polite and well-mannered they will profess to have respect for all different ideas, opinions and worldviews. But what does that really mean? Well, for starters, by respecting different viewpoints there is an acknowledgement of difference in the first place which means that there is an implicit recognition of superiority in one’s own viewpoint. After all, if someone didn’t think their own viewpoint was the best, they wouldn’t subscribe to it, yes? So not only do we see superficial separation based on nothing more than a different estimation of reality, but we see other worldviews instantly as inferior in spite of our best and noblest intentions. Again, if these other worldviews were as good as ours, we would subscribe to them instead.

What we need to do is stop looking at different view points as separate end-points and view them as all part of the same emergent process of finding truth. Some people’s outlooks represent a closer approximation to reality perhaps than others, but as different as viewpoints may be, they are all part of the same beautiful search for truth that we are all engaging in. That is the benchmark and common denominator in all discourse and exchanges of ideas.

To put it in a phrase: The dualistic eye looks at other viewpoints and thinks. “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, even though they are wrong and I am right.” The unified eye looks at other viewpoints and thinks, “Everyone is formulating all these wacky ideas, just trying their hardest to figure out life –just like me!

We have to acknowledge that we as individuals (and by extension, as societies) have never been 100% percent, empirically right about anything. All we have are approximations of reality which, if we are lucky, are moving closer and closer to truth as we refine our methods and keep inquiring.

Best,
-Andre Guantanamo
Instagram: @dreguan
Twitter: @dreguan
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Demo Reel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gdwhemiqzc

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