“Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth”. ~Ludwig Börne –
Do you agree ?
What are YOUR thoughts?
Such a great idea.
It seems that there are so many layers of illusion, and perhaps the greatest of them is the very notion of truth itself.
It seems that we all start from simplicity, based on simple sets of distinctions and assumptions, and as we grow in experience so we grow in distinctions.
The ability to question assumptions (implicit or explicit) is rarely welcomed or encouraged in our cultural systems.
Most cultural systems are based in quite simple models, and assume a certain level of “Truth” to be real.
After over 50 years of experience and enquiry, it is clear to me that what we think of as our experience of reality probably isn’t. It seems to be the case that we (as self aware conscious entities) are software entities in a software model of reality that is create by the brain in which we live.
Most people assume that our experience is directly of reality.
Adding in the extra layer explains most of what most of us sometimes experience as “not what we would expect if reality was really real”. It seems that this is because our experiential reality is a model of physical reality (whatever physical reality actually might be).
So losing Plato’s illusion of “Truth” seems to have made me somewhat wiser.
It seems very likely that we actually live in a reality that is founded on deep uncertainty, within certain limits.
Learning the limits, the boundary conditions, where one can make reliable observations and predictions and where prediction is less reliable or not at all reliable, and the degrees of each in different aspects of different contexts seems to be most of what wisdom is about.
This reality we find ourselves in seems to be vast.
We seem to be extremely complex.
Each of us seems to be entities of about 10,000 times as many cells as there are people on this planet, and each of those cell containing about 5 times as many molecules as our bodies have cells. And those molecules doing stuff millions of times per second.
That is a mind numbingly vast number, that is complex beyond the ability of any human mind to comprehend.
It seems we are the result of that complexity, not the cause of it.
And we do seem to have some causal capabilities.
It seems that the higher the level of awareness the greater the ability to be at cause.
It seems that many of these levels of awareness and understanding take years of activity to cultivate.
So it seems that we must all start with very simple distinctions.
As time goes on, those simple distinctions give way to ever closer approximations to infinities, to models with ever greater utility in the domains of our experience.
It seems that there may be an infinite set of possible distinctions, each of which can contain infinite gradations.
It really does seem to be that case, that the more we know, the more we know we don’t know, and the less certain we become about just about everything.
So in this sense, losing the manifold illusions of truth itself seems to lead to a probabilistic understanding, where truth gives way to confidence, and confidence is always accompanied by uncertainty in some degree (even in this statement).
It is not the safe and certain world that our inner children crave, and it does seem to be what we as adults need to deal with.