the arduous and anguished search for truth in our contemporary world

Before proceeding on to today’s essay, we think a few words about the terrorist actions in Boston on Monday are needed and appropriate.

Independent of who is responsible for these vile actions (foreign or domestic terrorists (right-wing extremists or the Left – oh, yes, the Left has a history of violence)), this is just the latest example of there being so little justice in this hellish world.  Where is the justice (read: recompense, the healing, the making whole again) for the victims?  Those killed cannot be brought back to life.  Those severely maimed can at best look forward to the use of artificial limbs for the rest of their lives.  (Too many US military veterans of the Middle East wars are having to use such artificial limbs now.)

And what about the other side of the coin of justice?  Do the wicked who do such destructive and evil deeds get just and necessary punishment?!  As we believe that punishment needs to be proportionate to the crime, these victimizers, when tried for, and convicted of, capital murder, need to suffer the death penalty.  I am not referring to a life time in court with endless legal appeals, and then eventually dying of old age in a state prison.  An effective and swift execution of the sentence is needed.  At my age, I no longer have any patience with those who bleed for convicted capital murderers.  Such bleeding is misplaced and misdirected compassion.

Now to our essay that is unedited and unabridged.

the arduous and anguished search for truth in our contemporary world

“The police in New York City

they chased a boy right through the park.

In a case of mistaken identity

they put a bullet through his heart.”

Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones in the song, Heartbreaker, from 1973.  Great guitar play in this song.

“Johnnie died one night.

He died in his bed.

Bottle of whiskey, sleepin’ tablets by his head.

Johnnie’s life passed him by like a warm summer day” . . . . .

From the song, Shooting Star, by the group Bad Company (late 1970s?).

A curio from our living room mantle.

 

old Chinese statue

 

What is a person to do?  Upon reaching early adulthood, one (or at least some of us do) comes to the distressing realization that much of what one was told while growing up was just a bunch of crap.  There are many villains here.  Here is a partial list.

The news people on the TV or radio, fools that many of them are, do not realize they are trafficking in so much misinformation and disinformation.  Although to be sure, there are some who do know and willingly peddle the hogwash to the masses.

The parents, well-meaning as they may be, are often victims of terrible ignorance themselves.

The teachers in the schools indoctrinating (brain washing) the young with politically correct (and largely Marxian) fairy tales are a major problem in the western world now.  As well, we indicated in our essay on suppressed or little known history (back in November) that students are not given a comprehensive treatment of history, especially 20th century history.  It is a very selective history they are taught.

The politicians who are perhaps incapable of telling the truth more than a small percentage of the time.

The doctors, many of whom arrogantly view themselves as being infallible, still promote various debunked myths that do much harm (more on that in a future essay).

The jurists, who also suffer from this “we know best” mental syndrome (or mental pathology), and further their social engineering aims by their unassailable edicts from the bench.

And, yes, the preachers, ministers, or what I simply call the church men.  Most of these church men have not had anything even remotely resembling a genuine spiritual experience, yet they will tell us how it is best to live.  In some churches, these church men attempt to dictate the smallest details of our lives, even in areas that have nothing to do with salvation or damnation, i.e. are of no true moral consequence.  (When the specific issue or action is of no true moral consequence, then we clearly see at work the desire for power and control over our lives.)  In too many cases, it is the blind leading the blind.

Asserting that any of these groups (or individuals) are all-knowing or incapable of error is offensively absurd nonsense.

Sadly, you cannot rely on all those you thought you could trust.

“Sorry son, much of what you were ever told was just so much bull crap.”

No one ever said those words to me, but perhaps someone should have cared enough to say them to me.

So, I say again, what is a person to do?  Or, what can a person do?

Here are my humble – and certainly not infallible – suggestions.

Learn from your experiences.  Reflect, carefully, on these experiences.  And, seek out positive experiences such as practicing random acts of kindness.  We are changed by our experiences in ways that we are not always conscious or aware of – so seek positive, constructive, life affirming and loving experiences.  Loving people are more fully alive.

Read the thoughts of a diverse set of writers and thinkers.  One undeniable constant in play is that life in this world has always been difficult.  Men and women have confronted some of the same challenges throughout the past few millenia.  And, they have asked questions of life, or of God, or of the gods.  Becoming familiar with their thoughts and thought processes can help us to broaden our own perspectives.  Remember that learning is an ongoing process, and not a destination.  It continues throughout your life.  (As well, be on guard against becoming too rigid and inflexible in your thinking.)

Also, it is helpful to avoid those things that tend to numb or anesthetize our minds such as excessive watching of television.  And obviously avoid harmful drugs and excessive drinking of alcohol.

Do not become discouraged.  The search for truths, often elusive truths, is not easy, is not for the weak of heart.  But, as I have found over the course of my adult life (now nearly 30 years out of graduate school), one does slowly find and/or recognize truth.  And, ever more subtly, one can find meaning in this hellish world if one perseveres and does not give in to despair.

Thank you for reading.  Share as you like.