Dialogue #1: a hidden truth of truth

God, beliefs, truth....and meeting Kendra and Bertram

Hello everyone, I hope you all having a wonderful week! Here is a journey into the mind that hopes to provide you something to contemplate.

As always, thank you for your support on this mind exploration journey I’ve taken, I truly appreciate the support and your kind words.

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This week’s post is a different style I want to begin experimenting with… dialogue-based stories and conversations. Some weeks, these conversations will be more story-based, while others will be more focused on the dialogue. This week focuses on the dialogue! Think of this as a modern spin on Plato’s Republic, where I create dialogues loosely based on real people and real conversations I’ve either heard or had.

My motivation for doing this is a desire to play with different writing styles, while also finding different ways of presenting the information. Addiontally, this allows me to create characters and perspectives to allow for the reader (and me) to better understand the perspectives of others.

Anyway, the characters I introduce will come back and gradually receive more development within the dialogues and in my pre-conversation explanations! So this week I introduce Kendra, but I’ll allow you to start getting to know this character, however, I see her as an open-minded soul.

And then we have Bertram, the arrogant wandering wizard.

The conversation this week is around truth, religion, God, beliefs, and…well the rest you will have to read for yourself!

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Kendra (italics):

What is the lens you look at the world through? 

Bertram: A child looks at the world with wonder and curiosity…even holding confidence in those mindsets. An embrace of the human experience…an experience of doubting what it is we can know. Finding peace in that mode. 

But why do we think the child often loses that embrace of doubt, curiosity, and wonder? 

The collective damage of the masses influences the child. Also, a constant pure state of wonder is not always preferred in a society that feeds off the reliance on established norms. We learn rather quickly that having a foundation to make decisions upon is preferred for finding success that fits the preferences of society. 

However, we still cling to our individuality…even when that individuality has us embracing the ideas and truths of others. We quickly learn that those established truths we embrace can hold power for our own individual gain...

A desire for authentic truth takes a backseat to a truth that holds power. 

Wait, it almost sounds like you are saying an embrace of powerful truths over authentic truths is preferred. Is that right? 

Not necessarily, as with many things in life, we must find peace in our sense of balance. Maybe it’s about finding a balance with more powerful truths over what feels like authentic truths. 

Or maybe it’s better to say that we can’t live our lives in complete openness…as you can become fooled by arrogant fools so full of delusion that they will suck you into their miserable void; their miserable void full of preposterous utterances barely holding them in a constant state of sanity. 

Kendra, you came from organized religion, Catholicism, right? What do you recall of those around you in the faith as you grew up? As the common phrase goes...many of the religious today are lukewarm around it. Was that your experience?

Hmm...I see what you’re saying. Yes, I grew up Catholic. And that lukewarm description...I would consider that accurate, yes.  A small-town, in the Midwest...community focussed. And Church became the norm every Sunday, yet this was the only time we truly discussed God in my life. It was never deeply discussed beyond the vague messages pulled from the Bible.

The priest would take this bible verse and make some lackluster attempts at creating some hopeful message for people’s lives. Mmm yes, this is pulling me back into my memory.

*Kendra hesitated for a moment.*

And then the priest would often close with some fearful posturing about how our faith was under attack. Nobody would even speak about what was being said! It was as though everyone was going through the motions, as though, church was just something we always did—my parents and their parents before...it was the norm.

But wait, is a doctrine like Catholicism a powerful truth? Are you saying many religions often embrace this idea of powerful truths over authentic truths? 

Yes, absolutely. 

Hmm…but I’m still confused. Why do people and groups, like religions, embrace powerful truths over authentic truths? 

Both fear and practicality, simultaneously. And just as you said, it’s a ritual. It’s something your parents did growing up, so it’s something they continued to do with you.

They probably look at their life...consider they made it this far, so they continue to fall in line with what they’ve always done. It’s safe. They were trying to pick the safe route for you.

*Bertram looks off in the distance for a moment*

Hmm this reminds me of a friend I talked with a few years back, he was in his mid-twenties, married, had a house, and his partner just had their baby. Now, this friend, grew up going to church, but he had “lost his faith” in college. Essentially, he had become agnostic.

I knew this. And I knew that he and his partner rarely went to church; they had become the holiday churchgoers. This being the defining trait of the lukewarm religious...keeping the scary thoughts within their subconscious at bay by doing the bare minimum in hopes of still getting into heaven. You know, just in case, they end up truly facing their supposed ‘Lord and Savior’ when they die.

So I asked him, “will you push your newborn towards the Christian faith?”

And without hesitation, he said, “yes, of course...they have to believe in something.”

This was fascinating. I didn’t push him on this, as I could sense his frustration with my question. And this could be because it was me who was asking and at times I, probably, ask questions in a manner that comes across as—how do I say this—pretentiously forcing them in a corner.

You see though? He went with an established norm; it feels safe to him. It’s a narrative he has always known. The truth is powerful, not because it represents reality accurately; it’s powerful because the truth’s narrative has been able to bend people towards its will. That powerful truth holds authority, it’s conservative, it’s been around. Other people do it, so people feel the urge to fall in line with it. It’s a way we put trust in people when we sense we ourselves don’t hold the answers…even when they question that truth themselves!

So my point is: maybe the desire for powerful truths extends from an awareness of the human condition we all face: that truly authentic truths are out of our grasp. 

So, is your use of truth here not about ‘what is right’ or ‘what is wrong?’

Correct, it’s not about that. It’s about what ideas people accept and why they accept them. I’m wondering, where does the embrace of some formulation of ‘our truth’ come from? And then why does that form of ‘our truth’ become ‘the truth’? Why do so many people fall in line with embracing the powerful truths that have just always been?

Security and habit. But honestly, I don’t blame them…many of us don’t have the time to work through our thoughts and beliefs.

I agree; we seem to mimic each other. Organized and established belief systems try to sell you on this package of hope and fear. The hope is in their beliefs; the fear is when you abandon them. A belief system that many of us try to convince ourselves that is tried and true. And many of us fail to face the failures of those beliefs, where they're tried, but not true.

I do not think people can find truth by mimicking the truth of another.

These illusions will be the death of us! We must move and evolve. 

But why do we embrace these illusions? These supposed false truths.

Practicality; we don’t want others to unmask our illusions. And others fear becoming the unmasker. The unmasker gets called a liar and a fool, cast aside for becoming a disturbance of a societally chosen order.

From the moment we’re embedded with consciousness, we create our story of the self–a story we tell ourselves; a narrative. A narrative that is built from all the information we are taking in around us...the chaos and the norms. This narrative becomes a piece of our puzzle in order to maintain sanity, which stops us from falling into endless doubt that is full of chaos and uncertainty.

When we see in between the binary mode of thinking, we find something real, but just because it’s something real, that doesn’t then mean it’s peaceful. Who would dare say an authentic truth is peaceful?

So our story becomes layered, full of contradiction, just like my friend. But I’m saying we must embrace more of an evolving story, where we constantly wake up from one dream to then fall into another.

This story is, necessarily, an evolving story for guiding yourself through society. Why? You need a story, as that’s your mask. And society doesn’t want to tolerate unmaskers. That story becomes an expression of your will. And your story is forever influenced by the will of others...so which will is more powerful? And my question is how do we best influence the evolving collective will?


PS…some conversations will be picked up later; some will have a nice conclusion; some will be left open-ended to allow you the reader to join in the conversation.

Until next time,

With love,

Brenden

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