I wrote in my previous post about the concept of Universal Truth. I have been wondering about the nature of reality, the universe, Truth in such an abstract way… my mind has even been jumping to alternate realities, the infinite, parallel universes, and the implications for man because there is no Truth to hold us back. It’s all rather dizzying. Maybe this is why the great thinkers of our time indulge in alcohol. They need to take the edge off of so they don’t send themselves hurtling over the cliff.
Tangent: That thought led to me google “drunk philosopher” and I found a 1997 article from Esquire entitled “The Drunken Philosopher,” where one of the writers wrote a series of essays on selected topics while he drank to see if the great writers and thinkers were brilliant in spite of their alcoholism, or because of it. More on this to come.
Anyways, I was doing a bit of shopping today, browsing the stores in Santana Row (an upscale shopping area near my house). I quite enjoy shopping and especially at this time of year. There always seems to be an electricity in the air, a buzz in the stores, as the colors turn and the holiday items come out. I was browsing through Anthropologie (a store I’ve always liked because of the name…. see my previous post “I (verb) my views of (noun), open to (noun).”) And what do my eyes settle on right away? Oprah’s book Words that Matter: Everyday Truths to Guide and Inspire.
JESUS CHRIST UNIVERSE. I felt like I had been hit over the head with realization, in one big “oh duh” moment. It literally took my breath away.
It is the everyday truths that are the ones we care about the most, because it is the ones that effect on a day to day level. My Truth may be different than your Truth, but that’s okay, as long as we know and believe our convictions and they work for us and within society. I believe there is this spectrum of Truth. For the longest time no one knew that the Sun was the center of the galaxy. Every one knew the Sun revolved around the Earth, based on the Ptolemaic model. And then Copernicus discovered otherwise and published his ideas in the early 1500s . And he was ridiculed and criticized by scientists and the Church. And it wasn’t until Kepler and Galileo Galilei proved his thoughts mostly right that every one realized that they had been wrong.
But maybe Copernicus really liked beef stew and felt that was the best dish, and Kepler thought that lamb was the way to go. They had different Truths on every day matters that didn’t impact their overall views of where society’s views needed to head. This is the key. We need to put aside the differences in beliefs that don’t really matter in the long run.
I started thinking about my Everyday Truths, the ones that matter to me. I have always loved quotes. I love finding a quote that completely sums up my mood and situation, and is true for me at that very moment. There are some quotes I loved before, but they don’t hold true for me anymore as I change. And that’s okay. I like to honor the past and my previous ways of thinking, and know that it served as a stepping stone for where I am now. I am going to amass a list of my Truths, my little bits of knowledge and wisdom that serves me as a person. And then I am going to print them up on little bits of paper and tuck them into fortune cookies, so when I am feeling down I can give myself a present.
So of course, as our belief systems are entirely arbitrary based on the society we are in, there are dangers that your Truths fall outside the spectrum (I’m thinking cults, child molesters, people we deem “delusional”). These beliefs can limit and harm others. But then there are people whose beliefs fall on the opposite end of the spectrum – those people who believe they can change the world for better, uplift people… the visionaries and innovators of our time. And as these people change the world, society collectively catches up with their ways of thinking. We are on the verge of great shifts in thinking about what is possible. It’s a very exciting time.
I am reminded of how much I loved Shel Silverstein as a kid. One of my favorite poems is “Listen to the Mustn’ts.”
Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.
This is one of my Everyday Truths. What ones did you learn as a child?