Vision from a rhinoceros

Nothing but the Truth

Nothing but the Truth

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Vision from a rhinoceros

Drawing: Selçuk Erdem

If you and I talk, we will speak the truth.

Truth doesn’t mean to remain serious. On the contrary, it takes a great deal of humor to embrace it. 

What truth?

I hear lot’s of people affirm clearly and loudly that “no absolute truth exists!“. Big smile here. At the very moment they say this, don’t they state some absolute truth? Here comes the mental biting its own tail.

I won’t do an essay on truth here, many have done it across the millennia. I just mean to clarify my own approach. When I commit to truth, I talk about the truth of what springs up from me: ideas, thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, inspiration, drives, desires… all these raw experiences, in their primordial naked truth, and that I contemplate and welcome unconditionally. I don’t claim that these inner events manifest any truth about the outer world. For instance, if I think of a Centaur, it doesn’t have a true existence in the animal world (until we prove the contrary), however no one can deny the truth of the presence of this thought inside me, and I can share it if needed. Therefore, when listening to you, if images or associations of ideas appear, I can make them available for you if you want. I can offer the subjective mirror of my inner truth, with your permission, of course. Not altering or toning down this inner truth implies I don’t subdue myself to what social codes, morals, or reserve impose. Expect that if you meet me. I will feel grateful if you do the same.

Once more, the gift economy enters the dance. Truth presents itself naked, it cannot come dressed up with conditions and intentions. Without judgment and censorship, truth fulfills us.  

Collective intelligence: what space for truth?

Magritte - Memory of a JourneyAs a research discipline, collective intelligence raises the question about the relationship to truth in collectives, if not in entire societies. What role does truth play? At which moment does it threaten the underpinning of a collective? By extension, what role do the beliefs have in the uphold of a collective?

These beliefs have a name: doxa. If refers to the reality built on assumptions or postulates that no one has put to the test. In order to understand this principle, we just have to examine old doxas. An easy exercise since we don’t live inside these old paradigms anymore. For instance, ancient doxas put the Earth in the center of the universe, or declared that men with black skin don’t have a soul and can serve as slaves, or affirmed that we descend from Adam and Eve. Let’s not delude ourselves: today like in the past we live in a very, very, very sticky doxa. I will write more about it in the future.

For now, let’s just remember that collectives grow up in a hodgepodge of doxa and truth, and I feel quite interested in analyzing this.

In pyramidal collective intelligence societies (that shape the most part of humanity today), humans maneuver in a matrix that shapes them from the outside. Why? Because pyramidal collective intelligence relies on chains of command, and it needs predictable humans for this. Without predictability of its members, what chain of command can work? So, school teaches little humans to separate what they experience inside with what they have to do. At the cost of years spent sitting in a classroom, kids learn how to break away the being and the doing. The humans of pyramidal collective intelligence develop extraordinary capacities in the doing, while not knowing themselves inside. Because it takes such an effort for truth to dawn deep inside ourselves, it faces the same issues to find its way in the society. Since birth, without realizing it, we learn many strategies of lie. Strategies of avoidance, decorum, social codes, sense of duty… The “how are you” followed by the automated answer “well!” look like a ritual that seals the disconnection between the inner world and the external social world.

Holomidal collective intelligence, in a full eclosion today, offers a strong incentive for humans to build their individuation. Furthermore, the mutualistic economy invites us to a new social practice of truth. Mutualism requires radical transparency for the broadcasting of knowledge and open source, for underwriting the visibility of resources and wealth, for the thriving of collective governance… Holopticism calls for the forming a collective truth as a condition for functioning. The relationship to truth evolves: it becomes a prerequisite.

Truth, the quintessence of art

Magritte - La Clairvoyance

Magritte – La Clairvoyance

Lying requires a practice, truth requires an art: we need to know how to give consistency to the intuitions that enlighten us, then learn how to formalize them in the world, while we welcome the flow of an erotic joy.

Art means techniques. Education has taught me the techniques of lying, I decided to learn the techniques of truth. What practice do I need to make the truth bloom inside me? How can I bring it beyond the stage of vague intuitions so that, very quickly, it can take a consistent form in my inner universe? In what form should I manifest this truth? Language? Music? Images? Gesture? Silence? Emotions?

The technique of truth has also taught me not to deliver a truth if I feel it dressed with an intention, for instance the urge that the person “understands” such or such thing, or that he/she needs to make such or such decision. Similarly, I would never say something like “You are this or that” to someone. I the person asks me, I say “I feel this or that inside me“. By doing so, I can offer an objectivized truth that reflects what happens in my subjective self. I make it a work to contemplate, a work that doesn’t force itself on people.

Truth does not come from deduction, truth springs up. Even when we think we deduced it, our creative impulse strikes sparks of evidences, lighting up a new reality that the being wants. An artistic act, again. I see this happening even in a forensic investigation. Investigators look for a truth deduced by means of objective proof (fingerprints, DNA, etc). Through this obstinate quest for objective facts, a new reality wants to manifest, a world with a clear line between the guilty and the victim, a world with the narrative of a human story where the collective myth can beat. Criminals of an epoch sometimes become the heroes of another epoch, and vice versa. The doxa hides itself not far… Yes, even the material and objective truth worded by scientific proof comes from the subjective self.

In the end, it doesn’t matter which truth we speak about — express a reality in our consensual way to perceive the world, make a logical deduction or a scientific inductive reasoning— it always leads to the creative self that calls for a new reality. I wish to make truth an artistic practice, it starts by uncompromising observing and sharing about what manifests in my deepest self. Even if it seems obvious on the paper (or the screen), it attracts spaces and situations that challenge what usual social codes and norms.

What about you? What relationship to truth did you decide to have in your life? Do you have a moment when you say “stop” to truth? Until which point do you think we can go, individually and collectively?

[stextbox id=”info” bgcolor=”F8F2EF” bgcolorto=”F8F2EF”]I wrote this text in e-prime. As a non-native English speaker, it takes a lot of efforts for me to write like this. No matter what, it needs some improvements and corrections from a native English person. If you feel like helping on this, please contact me![/stextbox] 

 

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