Truth as Open Source Thought

The value of truth: producing agreement between minds.

  • All systems of thought are already united in the sense that they are attempts to understand a common reality, and are expressions of a common reality.

They are varying attempts to explain and utilize the universal awareness that there exists and that we are dependent upon, relatedness in some form between what we experience as our “self” and “everything else”.

For the most part, they share tacit faith in the existence of “truth”, yet disagree (often violently), over what that truth is.

Each thought system is an expression of mind, evolving over time following patterns of relatedness by which reality “truthfully” functions.

In this sense all belief, including the reader’s and author’s have perfect validity since they are expressions of reality.

What we think of as the grasping of truth manifests within reality at it’s most essential, as  an experience of non conflicted certainty which occurs to and can compel acceptance between open non coerced minds (mediated for example by the scientific method).

Anytime knowledge is gained it only occurs to mind as this abstract quality of “experience”.

These experiences of certainty may not be the whole “truth” but do appear to approximate, and point to the possibility of, the existence of universally sharable certainties.

“Truth” can therefor be thought of as as a kind of theoretically experience-able set of  certainties, which would remain unaltered in full cooperative interaction with all possible non coercive questioning.

A characteristic of such certainty (which for convenience we will refer to as “truth”) is that it needs no defense in order to maintain it, indeed that which can be continuously held with certainty is only that which can withstand lack of defense.

“Truth” is that which is revealed and left behind by open minded questioning, and lack of defense is the mechanism by which it can be revealed. In this sense, defense can only protect misperception. Open mindedness towards all thought is therefore harmless at worst, and highly beneficial at best.

Certainties will naturally come into an open mind, and any new idea will either replace, modify, or leave this certainty unchanged. And this is all. Any “decision” about what is true is best viewed as dogma.

References to truth within this writing are therefor intended not as any philosophical assertion.

Rather they are references to a practical tool for producing agreement between minds.

Only those understandings which persist during the course of fully cooperative interaction with any and all open minded non coerced questioning, even as they are being permitted to change, have any hope of being universally accepted.

It cannot be discounted that such a thing as truth might not exist, or be ungraspable in it’s entirety. Yet decisive declaration to this effect effectively represents an expression of belief regarding what the “truth” of things is.

If the truth is that there is no such thing as truth or that it is ungraspable, then this requires no defense either, and should also be able to be sharable as an experience of certainty from one mind to the next.

The nature of the relationship between an understanding capable of passing this “trueness test” and one which could not would be comparable to the relationship between light and dark. Only light exists, while darkness has no unique properties of it’s own, being only the absence of light.

Categories of thought such as those of science and religion are only incompatible to the extent that they contain misperception or dogma.

Any “truth” they contain must be inter-compatible since truth is one category (this will be discussed further).

This is equally so for any systems of thought, including other apparently disparate ones such as ecological vs economic, or holistic vs reductionistic.

All categorizations of thought must ultimately confine themselves as much as possible to that aspect of the thought system which is truthful, and be open to the possibility of truth within other thought systems, or equivalently:

all categorizations must give way to the category of truth if they wish to align with truth.

This represents the unification of, or at least the allowance for the compatibility of,  thought.

All thought regardless of category, is subject to evolution since our understanding of truth and what is true are clearly not in full alignment.

Open and closed mindedness are the only categories of thought which can be safely  assumed to be fully mutually exclusive.

Absurd false belief is taken at times to be truth. Un-apprehended truth is also taken at times to be absurd false belief. In the light of understanding, mistaken beliefs which felt truthful do appear absurd. Some aspects of what is currently thought of as simple “common sense” may therefor inevitably come to be viewed by history as absurd.

In the absence of careful open minded consideration, opposition to thought on the grounds of not making sense is therefor not truthful investigation no matter how compelling it seems.

Although truth can only be grasped by mind, the truth of reality is independent of mind in the sense that truth may or may not align with what any one mind might hold it to be (including the author’s – lets be clear).

In so far as truthful understandings can be conceived of and conveyed in highly diverse, abstract and creative ways, the idea that “everyone has their own truth” appears to be a valid one.

It does not appear to be true however that some experience of non conflicted certainty, or truth, or reality, can exist within the mind of one person or group but remain ultimately unsharable with other aspects of a reality of which it is truthfully a part.

Any experiences of certainty come about through interaction with thought systems, which in turn develop via the relatedness of minds, which in turn develop via the relatedness of reality (as already suggested).

As such, they are expressions of reality. They occur as part of a fluid ongoing process whereby one “aspect of reality” (a mind) expresses understandings (via those aspects of reality with which mind is associated  – i.e. the body) to which other aspects can respond. These responses can in turn alter the certainties for all. This modified understanding in turn forms the basis for further response.

The certainties we experience at a given time are therefor a snapshot of, and if expressed a contribution to, an ongoing feedback mechanism. This process of change can be thought of as a kind of open source, truth approximating feedback loop.

The intention of this writing is to be a contribution to this process.

Any mind, being an aspect of reality is fully qualified to contribute to this feedback mechanism, but it is solely the ongoing operation of the feedback loop which determines what remains as collective experiences of certainty over time. It is determined in other words by the ongoing expression of reality itself.

This writing is not intended as a contribution to any particular categorization of thought, and it exists within a system of relatedness with many.

Any truth that it (may) contain must be compatible with any truthful content which may exist within any categorization.

This loop is one expression of a more generalized form of feedback within reality which will be discussed within this writing.

What has so far been written is in part, an appeal for the open minded consideration of the reader.

2013 Peter Sillifant

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