Friday, June 18, 2010
I had believed something for most of my life that turned out not to be true. It doesn't much matter what it was. What does matter is that I realized that we operate on certain assumptions and believe them to be true... And then we discover that they were not true and see how that discovery challenges our sense of reality. I wonder what else have I believed most of my life that is not true? How is it that one story is as good as the next. Misinformation is not tagged in any special manner. It looks just like the truth. And we operate like it is the truth.
So what do I do now? Abandon all faith? Or continue to believe in what I "know" until the carpet is pulled out from underneath me.
I am fortunate that I've had a relatively stable life and that this kind of thing has not happened very often. But suppose this happened repeatedly to one and where held assumptions were proven false one by one. Would it make us insane? Could we handle it? Or would we just dismiss the evidence and just continue to pretend?
I decided not to tell my wife. Why should she be told the truth when the fantasy was more tolerable? If I loved her, would I tell her what I had learned about reality?
So I told her that I wasn't going to tell her the truth about what I learned today because I loved her. Oh, she said, do you mean about... you knew about that and forgot.
Remembering, knowing, forgetting... all tricks our minds play to make us think we are in charge.
I tried (and failed) to convince my students that it was better to be able to appreciate a sidewalk than to own a yacht. With the sidewalk t...