TRUTH AND REALITY

A well-accepted meaning for "truth" is "the property of conforming to facts or reality". So intimate is the relationship between truth and reality that we often confuse, mix or misuse the concepts as synonyms.

Perhaps, at some point, truth and reality were one and the same, indistinguishable. As living beings developed the early stages of sentience, the ability to consciously perceive what happens to them and around them, reality was immediate. The impressions were ephemeral, keeping no records for later comparisons or references, much less to share with other individuals. There was no thought or speech, therefore, only reality itself.

Gradually, the ability to retain information about reality for own use in the future, developed alongside the abilities to obtain it and communicate it to others, gives rise to the idea of truth.

The information retained, although very useful, does not always reflect the updated information. For example, it is very useful for an animal to remember where it found water, in order to repeat the act of quenching its thirst. One day, however, this knowledge will prove to be out of date. Associating that place with the satisfaction of a basic need will no longer correspond to reality. Temporal distance, which only exists in fact for beings with some capacity to retain information in memory, seems to be the first instance of distance between reality and truth.

If reality changes but that change is not perceived, we have only a series of distinct realities perceived each in its own terms. But when reality changes and this change is perceived, the possibility arises of a comparison between the terms of two or more distinct realities, and what was valid at one time, at another may no longer be.

At this point, the non-adequacy of thinking to reality only denotes the individual’s ability to understand the phenomenon of change.
But another aspect begins to gain importance, as individuals develop the capacity to communicate the experience that they manage to retain from reality to others of their kind.

The truth is no longer in things, facts, events and beings of objective reality themselves, but in an established correspondence, through speech or thought, between the cognitive subjectivity of the animal intellect and that real world, afterwards transmitted in intersubjective processes.

There is a first aspect, related to knowledge, to the interaction between the cognitive subjectivity of the intellect and the real world, permeated by several layers or interfaces that act as filters, as lenses, as veils, tinting, distorting, hiding, damaging or even making it impossible. reconciliation between truth and reality in the mind of the observer.

Between the real world and thought, the senses align, through which the thinking mind is supplied with information about the outside world.

Notice that I have avoided refering the processes of observation, knowledge and thought as human. It is necessary to highlight that these capacities were not given to the human species as an out of nowhere bonus or other way exclusive feature, but have been increasing for billions of years along with the biological evolution within the entire set of species on Earth. It is rational, therefore, to assume that each living being holds them to some degree.

(The absurdly inconceivable time scale of evolution facts, compared to our day-to-day experience and the fact that much of what still comprises our mindset has been thought and written before or not taking into consideration the full impact of Charles Darwin achievements, has been making it difficult to set the right perspective to many issues.)

The greatest differentiation between the human species and the others is evident when we are faced with the sophistication of communication between individuals. The development of language is infinitely superior in the human species, although not exclusive to it.

The elaboration of the discourse about reality faces its own linguistic limitations. It is necessary to create a whole vocabulary and syntax to translate the real world, captured by the senses and processed by reason, in order to allow the communication of individual impressions. A series of improprieties is inevitable ...

The images we saw with our imperfect eyes, from our standing point, with a restricted angle of view, we now try to lay down to screens of restricted dimensions and formats, with improvised inks and talent not always proven.

Aside from this already unfavorable initial situation, others will inevitably arise, exposing the limits of our senses, intellect, reasoning and reasonableness ... and the lack of limits on our intentions ...

How to face the challenge of reconciling speech and thought to reality?
How to recognize and understand the difficulties on this way back? How to understand speech when it deviates from the truth?

Written by

Born in '67, before AIDS and Covid 19. Currently wondering what to do with the rest of my life...

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