Friday, December 22, 2006

Truth, Long Overdue

To find happiness is to prefer to believe that there is a reason for being happy. It is a leap of faith if you will, toward what we hope is an absolute, a movement toward what we wish to be an answer (and who is to say that it isn’t).

It may seem like the only option is to believe, but in what exactly? The existence of meaning? The possibility of transcending uncertainty? Do we make purpose out of ourselves, the ones we care about, altruism, strength of will, strength of reason? If a belief fails to serve its host, then that host will inevitably resume the search for a belief that it perceives to be more worthy, so does it matter where faith is vested so long as it serves the purposes of its host?

Perhaps dysphoria is just the influence of diminishing faith. The dysphoria remains until the belief is either fed or abandoned. Abandonment rewards us with euphoric freedom, while the former heads a path that can lead to blissful ignorance. If we choose to abandon a belief, desire will move us toward another belief, but desire is no less dubious than its purveyors.

I, myself, am a puppeteer, but there is no puppet. There is only what others perceive of me. They invent an illusory puppet. While I am merely testing the rules of the environment which I inhabit, they may try to see someone who is timid or someone who is boisterous, someone sane or someone delusional. Perhaps compartmentalizing others feeds a belief of theirs in some way, but hasty classification using unfit criteria tends to breed cognitive limitations.

I treat others with respect so that I might associate with them easily. I wish to associate with others easily because they might have some truth or tool for finding truth. I will play their games and learn from them. As a result, I may allow sentiments, both inborn and learned, to convolute my judgment. I may let altruism extend beyond its useful purposes to get the better of me, thus turning me into a martyr. Jealousy may rise out of a lingering sentiment that people should not behave arrogantly. An instinctive need for survival and pleasure may affect my responses to stimuli, turning the development of my cognition in unwanted directions.

The truth is, I don’t know.

And perhaps I will meet you one day in a bookstore, at school, or on a plane. If you can see me eye to eye on the message I am trying to convey and somehow communicate it, then perhaps we can share at least one tranquil moment of mutual appreciation for lucidity. Perhaps we can share more.