Updated: Feb 10.
Beautiful expression of thought in “Piece of Truth” by Mary Shenouda.
Before you keep reading, go read it first. Otherwise you would be doing injustice to the following comment on it and possibly to Mary’s blogpost as well.
I am not sure if the following comments represent my mind’s idea of what truth is and how to get it, but they represent a closely related idea to say the least. This is a path many times branching into a question (or two or three or infinity), many times blurry, and many times simply still and unmoved under construction. It’s something like a backbone of (my) Philosophy. All I can say is ‘this is one way to look at what Mary wrote.’ I hope you enjoy both pieces of writing. I can safely say that this is probably my best piece of writing, and perhaps thinking, to-date.
First, an idea:
Truth is good.
“Ever since one opens their eyes in the morning, and the small rays of light penetrate the depth of darkness from the night before, a small piece of truth appears … truth can only exist in light”
Search for truth:
“As soon as one starts on their morning rituals – prayers, meditations or any other form of liturgy – one stumbles cross another piece of truth … the presence of something beyond the perceived world.”
1. Religion and ascribing to its dogma of the supernatural.
“Going out into the street, one looks around to see much happiness and misery in the world … the truth of pain and happiness are revealed”
2. The primality (as in both importance and precedence) of feelings. If it was up to me, I would have switched 1 and 2. A person has to perceive the world first and then think about something beyond her perception, but then again in religion many things are upside down.
“Heading off to work or study reveals a lot more truths … all those equations and technologies are small simple manifestations of the invisible science rules which govern our everyday lives.”
3. Science and its hidden mechanisms. Science is not invisible though, it’s only the hard to see. And some think that science is the only and most visible “thing”.
“Eating reveals even more secrets and more truths … the amazing machine inside each of our simple-looking bodies which have the capacity to turn food into energy … turn the visible food into invisible energy.”
4. More machines: the machines in us.
“Talking shows one another side of the truth… the relative side of perspective … when one talk contradicts another talk.”
5. What is not a machine? Looking for the not-machine. Some find the soul. I find the individual subject and sometimes the possible impossibility of universality.
“Laughing is a magical activity that reveals some hidden truths … the deepest inner capacities to enjoy life are never as crystal clear as when someone’s laughing from the heart.”
6. The simplicity of wisdom and the love of life. Is this really looking for another not-machine? I think this is much more than a not-machine.
“But everyone goes through everyday life, goes through all these experiences, but hardly ever re-looks into what they call the TRUTH.”
7. The truth is so strong to come back from being forgotten. It’s like a phoenix that comes back to life younger only after going through a holy fire. Or it’s like “what they call the TRUTH” as in they never look into their own notion of truth.
“I wonder if there can really be anything except ONE TRUTH”
8. The question of God, the unity in all truth, the unity of all truth, the unity supervening upon all things. Nice use of capitals. I wonder too.
“and we all are simple observers of little pieces of it which we stumble across on our way.”
9. Our participation as observers and higher-knowledge. I love how “stumble across” is used here. Great choice of word. Higher knowledge as accidental! It can’t be planned, this I am sure of and I totally agree to.
“I wonder if the only way to collect the dispersed pieces of truth is in fact for all humans to speak out their own pieces so the picture could be complete!……”
10. The communion of knowledge:
The communication of these truths is impossible or at the least very hard. Otherwise all-knowledge would be simple, but complex is more than simple. If it is less, if it is only simple then picture wouldn’t be needing any completion anyway.
Is the quest for completion a correct path? What is it a path to? Is this the person finding the stumbling across troublesome? Is this greed for and in “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”? Is this confusion, a mixing of ideas from different realms/contexts (the mathematical and the actual)? (I will have a post about my idea of what a realm is soon). What does Completeness mean?
I shall leave this last question for a future post. I have to say that Mary’s direction towards the end was a little too platonic for my taste.
Wow! The number comes out to be exactly ten! Is this a sign? :)
Am I reading too much into this?