So what’s with the title? I suppose I should’ve made this the first blog but I didn’t. The quote is from a poem I wrote some time ago. It’s a line of thought I’ve been absorbed with for most of my life.
I was brought up to believe that one day I would get to know the truth and that knowledge would in some way free me (John 8:32) but the problem was I couldn’t tell. I was presented with things and told they were true but I pretty much only had people’s words for it. I didn’t feel freed. In the main, of course, it was the bigger issues, the existence of a personal god and the meaning of life. Their truths were not without proofs but, for the most part, what was needed was a leap of faith to believe the truth.
Beliefs are another thing completely. They don’t need to be true. In some cases it’s not even essential that the individual believe that they’re true. In those cases it’s a matter of going through the motions because doing something, feeling something is perceived as better than doing or believing nothing.
Which bring us to lying. I was brought up to believe that lying was wrong, even white lies to be honest. Much has to do with intent. But what makes something a lie? The intention of the one talking is not the only factor. One has to consider how the hearer chooses to interpret what he hears. And that choice may not be a conscious one either.
We continually redefine words throughout our lives and those definitions inevitably become more and more complex, meaning becomes harder and harder to ascertain. So, do we revert to some kind of convoluted lawyerese to make sure we’re understood or do we simply accept that nothing is certain? Or do we just go with our best guess? I just love the concept of fuzzy logic:
As a writer I have to deal constantly with the almost impossible task of communication. A long time ago I realised that I can only go so far down that road and that from that point on the words are in the hands of my readers who will make of them what they will. Some will take one look at them and leave well alone, others will hoist them up on their backs and head off into the distance. Either way what truths exit lie outwith my control.
READER PLEASE SUPPLY MEANING
Writers are all liars. We all are.
But at least they are honest liars.
They write down those necessary lies,
the kind that move men to leaps of faith
or excuse us when we fail to jump.
In the end it doesn't matter that
they let us down in the cruellest ways.
August 18, 1996