Wednesday, June 3, 2009

philosphical "deep" thoughts

Been thinking about questions of whether there is a right and wrong, truth and falsehood, black and white. If you go too far in one direction, everything is true and good, everything is right even in its' wrongness and nothing is black and white, all is in the gray zone. But if you go too far the other way, your definition of what is true becomes so narrow and rigid and ignores the different faces of truth. There's a story of a group of blind men defining what an elephant is. One says it's like a fan, another like a tree trunk, another like a rope, another like a hose and another like a wall. They're all correct in their perception but they're not entirely correct because they're not "seeing" the whole elephant. Since we are all blind in one sense, we can believe that what we perceive is true, but we must also acknowledge that we might be missing the other side or end of the elephant.

I'm reading Madeleine L'Engle's book "Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art." She talks about how she believes that atheist artists who produce true art can be closer to God than some artists that profess to being Christian which makes me think (in my own round about stream of consciousness) of the saying "all roads lead to Rome." I talked to my husband about this (who is WAY more knowledgeable about this topic than I am and is a clearer thinker and has thought about it WAY more than I have) and he says, yes all roads lead to Rome which means you can't judge somebody for being on a different path than you - the gray zones of everybody is right - but that they all do lead to the same place which indicates that there is an absolute truth of some sort - the black and the white - that we're all striving towards. So how do you wrap your head around there being one absolute truth but an infinite number of ways of arriving there. There is some paradox there. Which brings me back to the elephant and the blind men. I fully acknowledge being blind and often I go in circles, seemingly endlessly in my quest to reconcile this rope I feel on one end and this hose I feel on the other.

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