March 15


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How Many Truths?

Are there two realities? When I wrote about truth, it was in this sense – There is an actuality on which realities are modeled, and actuality is truth. A hierarchy of realities exists based on truth correspondence, the degree to which each independent reality mimics actuality. Yet not knowing what actuality is, we cannot determine the best reality. This makes sense.

Yet I have ignored action. I have ignored the fact that reality not only perceives actuality but also changes actuality. I have privileged the input side, ignoring the output side. Can truth be construed in another sense, looking from action? Let me speak of it in this sense – There is an actuality that can be changed by reality. A hierarchy of realities exists based on ability to change actuality. By changing actuality, realities are creating truth. Truth is transferred from reality to actuality.

This causes a problem for me. In the first sense – the input sense, the one I originally started out with – truth lies with actuality and realities only derive from the truthful actuality. In the second sense, and think about the circular process here, truth is conferred by reality on actuality. So where does truth lie, with actuality or reality? Is truth dual, which is what I meant by the opening question; are there two realities? Yet Truth cannot be dual, truth can only be singular. Dual truth is inconsistent and irrational. If truth is dual, there is no truth.

Let me think of the problem in a different way, but using the same logic. In the first sense – the input sense – truth lies with actuality and reality only derives from the truthful actuality. Actuality is truth, reality is error (at least partial error). In the second sense – the output sense - error is conferred by reality on actuality. Actuality, formerly truthful, now contains error. The circle continues, again reality derives from actuality, yet actuality contains error, so the derived reality contains even more error. This is acted on, breeding more error in actuality.

In the first way of thinking, truth creates new truth which creates new truth. Truth is dual. In the second way of thinking, from an original truth comes error which creates new error which creates new error. In both cases, truth (and its opposite error) is not a constant entity. Nor is it confined to the actual or the real. My original idea – truth was actuality, reality a derivative of truth – may not be satisfactory. Because of action, reality can be truth, but a different sort of truth than actuality. And actuality is error, but a different sort of error than reality.

So what am I saying? The validity of a reality, its correspondence to actuality, cannot be measured, its truth cannot be ascertained, because we do not know actuality. A hierarchy exists between competing realities, but this hierarchy is determined usually by power and popularity. It is socially selected. Realities are either more or less truthful than other realities, we’ll just never know which are and which aren’t. The effect of action on actuality can never be truly ascertained either. We do not know actuality, and the effects of a given reality on actuality are multiple. Furthermore, there exist many realities, so to weed out the effects of one reality from many is impossible. So in the end, what is privileged, reality or actuality? What contains truth? They both contain truth. Or else they both entirely lack truth. Or truth does not exist. In any case, neither is privileged over the other. Reality models itself off the truth of actuality, and the truth of actuality is shaped by reality. If there was no action and only perception in this world, then yes, actuality would be the soul truth, and reality only a derivative. If there was no perception and only action, then reality would be the soul truth, and actuality only derivative. And if living organisms did not exist, there would be no reality, only actuality.

Reality is the living side of truth, actuality the non-living. The non-living became populated with the living, creating two truths. First, organisms perceived the non-living, and needing to survive, formed realities. These realities were different than actuality, colourful, not entirely truthful, populated with error. Then the next step in the process: organisms act on the non living, changing it. The novelty of reality, the error, the incomplete truth, influences actuality, so now actuality is derived from reality, it contains error, it itself is coloured. For the rest of time the two feed off each other. Truth breeds truth, error breeds error.

I want to actualize my theory so far. Let me work through an example from my life, one that actually started me thinking about action.
I am on the balcony with three others. Two are old friends, both males. The first male has recently found a girlfriend; she is on the balcony with us. The second male and the first male have a long history of hooking up with the same girls. The second male is meeting the girlfriend for the first time, and he mentions, not seriously but in a joking way, the commonality between his friend’s sexual history, the fact that they share the same partners. He then proceeds to talk French with her. The boyfriend gets agitated and leaves the balcony.

This is the actuality I observed, my reality. I missed a lot, hey I’m not omniscient or anything, but I observed enough to notice that the girlfriend was very uncomfortable and probably thought the second male was hitting on her, even though that wasn’t his purpose. This was actuality to reality. Realization. Probably filled with errors, but a reality nonetheless that helped me to get a grip on things. Inside, I tell the first male what I think. He listens to me and agrees. My reality is now no longer an individual reality but a collective reality. Collectivization. A plan of action is determined, and he goes out to rescue his girlfriend. The correspondence of my reality to actuality was irrelevant, the fact that it allowed my friend to act was the important part. The girl was brought in by a satisfied boyfriend. Reality to actuality. Actualization. Error filled or not, my reality had shaped actuality. It became the truth.

So is everything just a play between two truths, a movement between reality and actuality?

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