The Story of TruthStephen Farah
The more time I spend thinking about the significance of stories in our lives the more amazed I am at how significant these stories are.
The first peak behind the curtain I got into this, was on a warm summers evening whilst I was walking through downtown Tucson. Under an azure sky splashed with broad strokes of pink and fine highlights of red from the setting sun. A comforting warm breeze blew as I walked along side a philosopher I had met on the conference I was attending at the University of Arizona, Towards a Science of Consciousness, in April 2008.
It would not be a lie to say that this man, who later disappeared as suddenly and as mysteriously as he arrived, was one of the most remarkable human beings I have ever encountered. His name was Cary Winograd. Cary born into the Jewish faith, but non-practicing, was a Catholic Apologist and would often go on retreats to the Catholic Mission in California, his home State.
As we walked through an all but deserted downtown Tucson my thoughts were filled with an overload of information, from the conference, about such diverse topics as gamma synchrony, lucid dreaming, machine consciousness, quantum consciousness, Duality vs. Monism, the morphic field, the neuronal patterns of consciousness states. It was my first time in America and the experience, particularly on the evening in question, had about it an air of the unreal or the surreal if you will.
Cary spoke to me about many things that evening including the technologist Ray Kurzweil’s vision of the future being virtual and the forthcoming singularity. The philosopher Zizek’s arguments that reality is already virtual.
He spoke about the overbearing feminism of the American Jungian movement under James Hillman and about Derride, whom he had studied under in France. He spoke about Lacan and his conclusion that it was our neurosis which defined our humanity.
But above all else what he said that has really stayed with me and has taken me a year to assimilate is that God is not true or false, that He neither exists nor doesn’t exist. God, Cary explained, is a concept which is beyond truth or falsity, existence or non existence; even Nietzsche was too shrewd to deny God’s existence, he said God was dead not that God never existed.
I have always found it strange the way I can hear something, believe it to be true, and yet not assimilate it. And so it was with this concept, the concept of a concept beyond the concept of truth or falsity
Almost a year after Tucson, I attended the funeral of my friend, Rodney Anthony’s, father at the Cedar Park Catholic Church. And my mind turned, during the funeral service as it is want to do at funeral, to the Existential Conundrum.
I have never been a believer in Christian Dogma. However the truth of Cary’s words really struck me this day in a way that I had never previously understood them.
That is to say I realised that the ideology that I had unwittingly and unconsciously bought into, was the Religion or Story of Truth and it was from this standpoint that I judged the Christian Story to be untrue. Meaning to say I realised on Wednesday for the first time that the Christian Myth is a story which is as valid and valuable as any other story and better than most.
It struck me that we have all bought into one or other story or stories which for whatever reason have resonated for us.
The Story of Truth
In my case one of my principal stories is the Story of Truth, meaning by that that I honestly was arrogant enough to believe that I, the great and powerful not to mention wise, Stephen Farah, had access to this mythical creature called Objective Truth. And I judged the world by its alignment or not to the virtues of Objective Truth.
Now that I think about it, it is laughable, but for the past forty years I have lived my life in service of this story. But folks that’s all it is – a story nothing more and nothing less.
And I have to tell you letting go of it has been incredibly liberating.
I have come to realise Truth is not necessarily Meaningful and Meaning is not necessarily Truthful.
What is Your Story
This brings me to my point. Ask yourself this: what story are you running, telling yourself, or have bought into?
You see if your realise that it is ultimately just a story, then you have the privilege of being able to reformulate, rewrite, retell and live a New Story. One which you consciously choose. Or of course you also have the right and privilege not too, either way it’s your choice.