Thursday, October 04, 2007


I've been thinking about it today. Reality. And how very different each of our individual perceptions is. Or would that be are?

I heard a story today that I'd heard before. The bare-bones facts were upsetting, just as they were the first time I'd heard them. But this time around, I heard it from a different person's perspective. And the story was transformed from a tale of small meanness to events more tragic than anything else.

Whose story is correct? More correct? Is it wishy washy to acknowledge that they both may have been factually accurate, though different? How much can we accept what others tell us when account of an event can undergo a transformation when being told by person A then person B?

Is truth merely what can be mutually agreed upon? Seems if that's our path, there would be no truth. Because rare is the fact or observation or experience that brings universal agreement of its singular meaning.

There are a number of different strands here. Accuracy of observation. Competency of tale-telling. The ways in which our experiences shade our perceptions. I guess it's the last that intrigues and puzzles me most. I see it occasionally between myself and my husband. Together, we hear someone say something, the meaning of which we often take in two completely different ways.

There's the old chestnut about the truth being a multifaceted object, like a diamond. It looks different from every angle, glistening, spilling colors in the light, transparent or blindingly refractive. If truth is a diamond, then it's not it which changes; it's our perception changing what we see.

I think truth is a teardrop. At its essence, the same drop slips down each of our cheeks. Chemically identical, with perhaps slight variations for differing body chemistries. Its shape changes, though, depending on where it falls. And its reasons for being are legion, from the purely physical irritation to frustration to release to laughter to grief to anger. What we see through the tears, equally variable. How tears seem to others or to oneself? Again, dependent on many influences.

Truth is a bit more fungible than a diamond. My muddled thought for the day.



Blogger Suna said...

One of my favorite all-time movies is Rashomon, an old Japanese tale made into a film. Very worth watching again and again. You will never view "the truth" the same way again. It is a great movie to show young adults to make the point that the truth varies immensely depending on perspective (not only personal perspective, but by time as well).

8:15 AM  

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