Tag Archives: Truth

Truth and Happiness

Importance of Truths

Truths are important to the fabric of society.  From the workings of government, economy and financial system to family life.  Without Truth, no one will trust another, and activity will grind to a halt.

Currier_and_Ives_Brooklyn_Bridge2 1024px-The Modern Suspension Bridge and Surroundings: Truth and Trust

But are all Truths created equal?  The common misconception is Yes.  The answer is surprisingly No.

Relevant Truths Increase Situational Utility

Relevant truths help to aid efficient transactions, saving time, effort and money.

Being aware of relevant truths can help the proper assessment of the situation, and promote solution of problems or improvements.

Being in touch with inherent strengths and weakness can help maximize utility and/or preventative measures before things get bad.

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Geometry and The Metric System in Engineering and Trade

(Excess Focus on) Irrelevant Truths Reduce Situational Utility

On the other hand, irrelevant truths can confuse the issue at hand, prevent the solution of problems or hinder improvements.

Irrelevant truths can increase animosity between two parties who are better off co-operating.

Irrelevant truths distract from purpose wasting valuable time, effort and money.

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The Historical Pig War (1859) : Irrelevant Truth to Peace and Harmony
“Let’s Go to War: He killed my Pig” (Image only for dramatic effect)

The list goes on.

With this, let’s examine Happiness through the vantage of metaphysics.

Metaphysics – Things We Take As Real (Truth), Are Not

As we sit at our desk. on our chair, furiously typing our thoughts out, many of us forget that the objects found in our daily lives  (e.g. chairs, tables, our body) are probably much more spatial than Matter.  

The prodigious Greeks lacked the implements of modern science. That did not stop them though: Instead, they ran thought experiments and deduced that matter spliced will give rise to the indestructible Atom. 

Chair Matrix
Furniture withIn the Construct (Matrix)
Are Daily Objects Reality or Imagination?

Infinite Splicing of Reality

For many centuries after, the Atom stood “indivisible”.  Then sure enough, in 1897, a chap named JJ Thomson discovered the electron empirically, subdivided the Atom and replaced it with a plum pudding (model) for the Nobel Prize.  Before long, all manners of discoveries broke lose.  The nucleus, the Rutherford planetary theory (space and particles), the electron particle and wave theory, neutrinos, etc.  Like our beloved smartphones, the next flashy iteration of “Reality” seemed always around the corner.

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The Discussion of Aristotle

Irony of the Familiar

Apparently, causation is unlikely to surface through empirical means (or so say the rationalist philosophers), even in a hundred years.  And if we cannot fully understand the Reality and nature of the objects we can see, feel, hold etc, what more with feelings and intangible concepts like Happiness?

Certainty within Uncertainty: Relevant “Truths”

Not all hope is lost!  While not 100% certain, scientific rationalization and experiential verification over centuries has derived sufficient objective Relevant (but not eternal) “rules” for physical phenomena.  These rules are used to manage and explain  complex daily phenomena with great certainty, even to create microcosms (e.g. working engines) and interacting systems (e.g. modern robots) dependent on the said “principles”.

Nao the Robot: An interacting system dependent on Scientific “principles”

We make a distinction here: Relevant “Reality” is repeatable across everyone’s conscious experience.  The contrast is imagination, dreams and poorly based perceptions (which are not general, nor rule based, and unlikely to be “Truth”).

To reiterate, Final Truths are not required to achieve the daily.  Purpose and the Relevant “Truths” are.

Elements of Happiness

Similarly, for meaningful and lasting Happiness, beyond the physcial “rules”, we need to derive and transmit Relevant “Truths” for Purpose, Gratitude, Ethics, Interdependence, Psychology, Healthcare, Governance, Economics etc.  Of course, sometimes Ignorance is bliss, but that is until Reality bites.

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Conclusion

In Life, there are the known and the unknown, even with things we can see, touch and feel. Despite the unknown and the trickery of perceptions, we are able to scientifically derive Relevant “rules” that help us understand and manage our physical realm to a high degree of certainty.  Similarly, in order to have Happiness, we need focus on the Relevant and not let the irrelevant overwhelm us.  While we may not know the Eternal Truth, I am certain we can learn and share enough of the Relevant Truths to explain and derive  Happiness.

Have a great time with the Relevant, and thank you for reading and/or views!

PS: The metaphysical discussion also prepares us for the topic of Relativism, an important topic for Happiness and Ethics.

Image Credit: Warner Bros, Currier and Ives, Jebulon, Daniel Stark, Grabbeau, Sharon Ang

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Morning Coffee Reflections and The Fool’s Prayer

I came across a beautiful piece written by Carol recently.

“Morning Coffee Reflections” is a narration of Carol’s childhood memories as a 3rd grader who chose to recite Edward Rowland Sill’s poem “The Fool’s Prayer” in class, as well as her journey and thoughts on openness, truth and social nature.

The Child Clown

The poem’s protagonist was the court jester.  When required by the King to provide frivolous entertainment in the ill-suited form of a prayer, the Jester prayed aloud for forgiveness of his own follies and mistakes, while alluding the same foibles to the Court.  It follows that at the end of the day, instead of taking offense, the King chose to quietly heed wise counsel.  The contrast is subtly intimated in Carol’s recollections: Carol’s teacher was less amused by her 3rd grader’s thought provoking poem, and subsequently banished her from future participation in class.

The point?  We have much to reflect on to better ourselves, yet there is room for improvement when it comes to being positive to enlightening truth / a mirror.  Like the King perhaps, we can learn to listen to/follow a wise critic, “like we would, a map to hidden treasure.”, and  like the Jester, we can have the courage to convey the facts when required (albeit gently).  

Happiness is a state of mind, but pass basic contentment, it does help additionally if we become better people and our surroundings improve through truth and consideration..

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“Fool” Training School

I have reproduced the “The Fool’s Prayer” below, but I profess I am wanting of Carol’s great skill to delight with her elegant weaves, light touch and vivid imagery.  Hence, a visit to her blog “Voices from the Margins” to savour the treat and peruse the original emphasis is much warranted (it differs slightly from my more general view re humility, courage and consideration), and highly recommended.

Do enjoy the reads and interesting opinions!

The Fool’s Prayer
Edward Rowland Sill (1841 – 1887)

The royal feast was done; the King
Sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: “Sir Fool,
Kneel now and make for us a prayer! 

The jester doffed his cap and bells,
And stood the mocking court before;
They could not see the bitter smile
Behind the painted grin he wore.

He bowed his head and bent his knee
Upon the monarch’s silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: “O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

“No pity, Lord, could change the heart
From red with wrong to white as wool;
The rod must heal the sin: but, Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

” ‘Tis not by guilt the onward sweep
Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay;
‘Tis by our follies that so long
We hold the earth from heaven away.

“These clumsy feet, still in the mire,
Go crushing blossoms without end;
These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust
Among the heart-strings of a friend.

“The ill-timed truth we might have kept –
Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?
The word we had not sense to say –
Who knows how grandly it had rung?

“Our faults no tenderness should ask,
The chastening stripes must clense them all;
But for our blunders – oh in shame
Before the eyes of heaven we fall.

“Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;
Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool
That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!”

The room was hushed; in silence rose
The King, and sought his gardens cool,
And walked apart, and murmured low,
“Be merciful to me, a fool!”

Image Credits: Pan-American Coffee Bureau, Katherine Kirkland, Richard Elzey

Love

Some Quotes on Love…
Hope you enjoy them!

“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times.”  Laura Hendricks

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” Robert A Heinlein

“We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.”  Tom Robbins

“Love is commitment, yet freedom.  We commit ourselves deeply to the person we love, yet free our beloved to reach their dreams (potential).”

“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” Corinthians 13:4-8

Image credit: Webdesignhot.com, Creative Commons