Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Is truth really beauty - is that "all ye need know on earth?"

Came to me that there are two tests to truth:
  1. Does it bring you peace?
  2. Does it help you resolve the world around you?
This comes in as there are so many different versions of "Truth" and none are particularly correct over any other. In Huna, "Effectiveness is the measure of truth." And this seems to be workable. At least it explains what "common sense" is - workable truth. You have immediate solutions to problems in your environment. You have patterned solutions to routine problems. From these patterns, you can develop sensible survival habits.

Now no two people agree on the same truths. So common sense isn't completely agreed upon between two different people. What is common sense in cities (not walking around alone at night, keeping your doors and windows locked) would be silly and a nuisance in the country (where you might have to find a heifer having trouble berthing at night and if your barn was locked up tight, you might not have the extra hands necessary to hold the halter, feed bucket, and find your keys to that lock all at the same time).

Two people are great in both circumstances, but this isn't always practical. It might require two people to separate in order to search 40 acres of rolling pasture and woods - as that heifer is trying to hid to deliver that first calf...

In cities, if your pet is having her first litter, you simply check it into a vet hospital - and you only have to check your apartment to find the animal - and any yard you have would be small indeed. (40 acres is 1/16th of a square mile - try that for a back yard.)

When you are working out practical solutions to your life's problems, you are on a search for truth. Truth can be compared to "intuitive" computer programming - "it works the same way as the last time I figured it out." You have a class of data which is applicable to that class of problem. Some people have better truths than others, as they have worked on their solutions longer or have compared many more data in their search for solutions.

When you find widely applicable data, this then becomes basic truth for you. As you use that data in more and more of your life, you can develop patterns which solve a whole host of problems for you. That patterned response is known as habit.

You are adjusting your habits all the time, as you work to use that pattern to solve both repeating and new problems as they present themselves. No habit is therefore fixed and "permanent". You don't now have the same habits you had when a child - you won't have the same habits on your death bed as you do now.

Habits can be consciously changed through simply enforcing a regular pattern to replace your existing pattern. Drinking a glass of water every time you feel the urge for a cigarette has worked for some. As long as it's clean water, you're replacing a better habit for an old one. But you are the one who wanted to change to begin with.

What does truth have to do with common sense and habits? All your common sense have truth in them. If they didn't work, you wouldn't keep doing them. It wouldn't "make sense" to do something "stupid", would it? All your habits are built on patterns which made sense when you started doing them. If you didn't get something out of cigarette smoking, you wouldn't keep doing it, would you.

I used to smoke a pipe for awhile, as I loved the smell of tobacco. It fit in what I was doing, which was supervising an outdoor exercise facility. But when I changed to an indoor job, I found that the smoke didn't smell as good in a closed room - especially when you came back into it later in the day. As well, having to clean a pipe made a mess indoors and got all over the paperwork I was doing. So I quit. I never got used to cigarette smoking, as I couldn't stand the coughing when it got into my lungs. But I was smoking rolled pipe tobacco, which is a bit harsher and doesn't have the smoothing additives which commercial cigarettes have.

The point is that you have made all the habits you have. There might have been a genetic urge to do something, or some sort of nutritional deficit you had to solve - but you made the choices and developed your patterns, refining these into habits.

People love to eat - which is good, because we'd have some unhealthy people if it were painful. But when people over eat routinely, they get overweight with lots of extra fat in places that doesn't improve their health. Native Eskimos used extra fat in their diet to stay warmer and store nutrients. But this isn't the same type of fat you get from eating too many fast-food meals.

These eating places are using what people really like - sugar, salt, fatty fried foods - to entice you to eat more meals and in larger quantities. That is what keeps you coming back for more (plus fast service, low prices, and catchy TV jingles). Home-cooked meals are better for you, and generally taste better - but they take a lot of time to make and you have to work at it. Prepared foods have additives to keep them on the shelf longer without spoiling. These additives, some say, do the same thing for your body - however being "well preserved" in your old age is really only good for the embalmer. Those preservatives make the body work harder to get rid of those foreign chemicals.

I'm more than a bit spoiled because I live on a farm and have access to great food all the time. To earn my keep, I have to get out and work in fresh air, sunshine and spend a great deal of time in exercise and sweat. All in addition to the indoor time I spend writing, blogging, and marketing in order to earn my income. So I can talk with confidence about how to eat right and live a healthy lifestyle. I spent over 20 years in large cities, so I know both worlds.

But I can't tell you what you will find as true for yourself and your own life. I can only tell you what I have found to be true for myself - and as I write, I give you advice you can either accept or refuse. In either case, you will be evaluating the data for yourself. You will compare what I say here against the data you've already accepted as true. That data which is more survival or applicable to your current situation will trump all other data.

That's just the way it is.

The best data will bring you more peace in your life. You will become more certain, more successful, and generally happier about your life.

That same data will enable you to solve various problems and situations you run into.

The more peace you receive, the more solutions you can solve - this tells you the quality of truth you've found.

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