Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I have a little extra time before going to work and have been pleasing myself by straightening up a little - dusting - doing domestic things that seem to be harder for me to get to when there are others in the house. It feels good. I'm also really enjoying Bob's enjoyment of his birthday present camera. He has taken pictures of Danny at Sea Camp and is well on his way with his bird picture collection. He seems so happy hunting the birds and getting their pictures - really makes me happy to be able to add to his happiness with the camera, and I'm thrilled that he's sharing the pictures.

I got distracted from the questions I requested during the busy summer and want to get back to them - briefly this morning, then really wade in. Some of the hardest and most interesting questions await.

Mary J asks "Do you believe in absolute truth?" That's a tough one. I believe in objective recordable reality, but that's different from absolute truth. I mean someone can photograph a moment and viewers of the photo can see who was in the room, with what facial expression, wearing what clothes - but probably no one in the room will remember the scene exactly as the photo caught it because our brains are so full of filters. I think it's the same with bigger spiritual truths, that there is an objective reality about things like the presence or absence of God and heaven, but that we are incapable of really knowing or understanding those realities and so we interpret them as best we can. As far as ethics go, I definitely believe many of the little nuances we think of as ethics are really cultural - like what behavior connotes respect or intimacy - what degree of emotional or physical connection is "enough" in a particular situation. I believe that when it comes down to the very basic "Love thy neighbor as thyself." that some version shows up in just about every tradition I've heard of and it seems the closest thing I know to absolute truth is that life works better when more people follow this tenet. "Love, not ego" is the code for that tenet which I play over and over in my own thoughts and use to guide my actions. As for many of the other sayings and philosophies I live by like "Real is better than perfect." and "No unnecessary losses", I don't think they are absolute truths, just guidelines that help me live more as I choose to.


Mary said...

I would have to say I believe in an absolute truth, at least my interpretation of the term. There IS one, but I don't think that individuals necessarily would agree on what it is. ONLY God knows. We on earth judge truth by what we see, but we may not all see the same way. We do the best we can though; and probably the more people that agree on the truth of any given situation the more likely THAT is to be "THE TRUTH."

Anonymous said...