Who Is Real?

At first I thought you had two faces. but now I see one face is real and the other is just a lie. Do you believe that lie?

There was a time in my life that if someone told me their aspirations or beliefs, I didn’t look any farther. That was the person, the one they described to me. Now that I’ve had more experience in life, I realize the person screaming obscenities behind the smiling face is the true person.

I believe it was Maya Angelo that said, When someone shows you who they are, believe them. It’s a matter of training, or in my case, retraining my senses. At first it seems awkward. I see the two faces and I hear the voice speak that tells me they are kind and gentle and that I should believe them, and then there’s the punch in the face. Wow, where did that come from? Business leaders will promote new ideas. They’re for progress, the new style of management. Their employees are their greatest asset, they say. The want to allow their employees opportunity to grow. Then slowly, moment by moment, they take your privileges away. You’re called on the carpet for petty things. They look at you suspiciously and monitor your phones. Which to believe? Was it only the flavor of the month?

A spouse says they love you. They want to spend more time with you and can’t stand to be away from you. But they work late most nights and when they’re not working, they hole up in their office reading financial reports or playing video games. Hmmm, something isn’t syncing.

I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I tend to be a bit naive, trusting, accepting. I’m also a fairly adaptable person so I take on too much. I step up too tall and I stay too long. Which is fine if I’m with my friends. They know me and I know them. I feel free to say Not today or I’m not feeling well. And we all understand each other and allow the other person to bow out gracefully.

My problem isn’t that I didn’t see the actions or even know the person was lying. My problem is that I wanted it to be true. My emotions were involved. I cared. And that’s where my conundrum is. Do I not care anymore? I have no wish to become an ice queen. Caring is human. I have learned to isolate my caring to smaller and more trusted groups. I’ve learned to detach from caring if  I realize I’ve over invested.  With age comes experience and that grows into wisdom.

I no longer believe your lie.

The Truth Is

English: 42, The Answer to the Ultimate Questi...

I’ve always said that I just want the truth. I want to know how it really is. Is there a personal God? Is there just a deity? Or is religion just a superstition? What does God want? Does He/She communicate one on one? Or is the source of communication somewhat of an impostor? A chameleon?

The truth. My questions have changed. I realize that truth changes and there is truly no one absolute truth. My premise was incorrect or incomplete. I wanted THE TRUTH. I thought at one time that there could only be one. Like the rock of Gibraltar in one place that didn’t move and didn’t seemingly erode.

“I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don’t know the answer”
― Douglas Adams

The truth is, there is no one site for truth. Truth has changed as I have changed. Look at your own truth. When we are young, truth is simple. Good, bad, happy or sad. Imagine if you kept those simple ideals as your truth. Good guys wear white and are nice. They open doors and smile. As life changes, you realize that good guys wear all different colors. White horses and white hats are for the movies we watched in those days. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the good guys blew up buildings and fought in wars. In those movies they wore black and green. Truth is not a simple statement. It’s a concept. It’s like home.

Where is home? Home can be people, family, friends, a library, a coffee shop, a house, your grandparents or your car. Home resonates inside of us. We know it when it’s there. It’s different for everyone. Which leaves me with my questions on truth. I may not ever know the facts about the history of God or our origins. I have to accept my limitations. My knowledge base doesn’t exist beyond this world and the answers aren’t here.

“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”
― Douglas AdamsThe Restaurant at the End of the Universe

There’s no ancient discovery that accounts line by line the unveiling of God or humanity. Or the role of religion in this world. No, there are many ancient discoveries. There are many voices that speak compellingly their truth. The loudest ones are not always the right ones. Even with the wisdom of Solomon we couldn’t untangle the knots of fact and fiction. I can’t do a search on Google or Bing to get the answers. They don’t have all the answers.

According to the book and movie, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, the answer to the greatest question “What is the meaning of life?” is 42. Of course it’s a joke, from a funny movie, but sometimes everything seems like a joke from a funny movie. You just have to laugh.

Question It All

Question everything. Question everyone. Question it all. Anything that comes across your senses can be faked. A person may be exactly who they say, but may not. The $1000.00 coat looks nicer, classier, better tailored than the $100.00, but it could be a knock-off. Your neighbor may be a successful business person or a drug dealer. It’s not easy to tell sometimes.

If you want to see truth like you say you want to, you must bypass the easy stuff. The cover story. All the mind Jedi tricks that people play are distractions. Don’t be distracted. Retrain your thinking. How? Notice the story they tell you. Look at it then look again. Listen to the skeptics. Take courses in critical thinking. Be smart and use the scientific method. The story is the hypothesis. They say they work at a bank. What type of car do they drive? How do they dress? House? Children? is their lifestyle in the salary range of a loan officer or the president? What type of friends do they have? Check out the salary of bankers in your state. In other words, do the ingredients in this person’s life add up to who they say they are?

There are three main questions to ask if you want to exercise skepticism.

  1. Who is making claim?
  2. What’s the context?
  3. What is the quality of the evidence?

I wanted to share some resources for those who want to dabble in skepticism.

http://www.skeptic.com/
http://www.criticalthinking.net/
Book – The Believing Brain by Michael Shermer
Book – The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins