Saturday, March 31, 2012

Quid Est Veritas? Part Four

And now we come to the core of the matter.

I've discussed the different types of knowledge, one building on the one before it. I've pointed out how, once we get past the raw physical sensations, we begin to use language to add dimension to our knowledge through narrative about our world and its parts. I've noted how language takes on a social or communal character, so it moves beyond an individualistic concept.

Now I want to look at truth, and how it fits into our Lenten meditations and reflections.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Quid Est Veritas? Part Three

What do you look forward to?

We all have dreams, hopes, some sort of thing that we don't experience yet, but that we hope for sooner or later.

This is what I would call the third kind of knowledge. Just as visceral knowledge is awareness of the stimulations of our nervous systems, and just as conjectural knowledge is a set of narratives about the things that impinge on our lives, anticipatory knowledge is the next level of abstraction from the purely physical.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Quid Est Veritas? Part Two

Are you sitting comfortably?

What is under your butt? A chair? A couch? Or perhaps you're standing, reading this on your smartphone. What kind of floor is beneath your feet? What are you wearing on those feet? Shoes? Slippers? Are you barefoot? Why one thing, and not something else?

These questions are based on that first kind of knowledge I wrote about last time, the sensory or visceral knowledge. We don't have to be human to experience this type of awareness. It helps to be human to experience what I've just been asking about, though.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Quid Est Veritas? Part One

What do we know that's true?

This seems like a simple enough question. For many things, it's quite easy to see that one thing is true, and another isn't. But is this knowledge really that simple?

Since one of the movements of the season of Lent is self-examination, it's important to see yourself as you are, and not as you might like yourself to be. Viewing yourself in candor and without prejudice can deflate those who think too highly of themselves, and can elevate those who have low self-esteem. It cuts both ways.

So, let's embark on a little journey to examine what we can know, and find how far we can say that something is true.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lenten Meditation

This is the season of Lent. In the church calendar, it's the season between Ash Wednesday and Easter during which we Christians examine ourselves and our relationship to g-d, and spend time facing the chasm that separates us from true holiness and true righteousness. We also get to contemplate the sacrifice that was made on our behalf by Jesus the Christ, and what that means in our lives.

I hope to post some thoughts over the next few days about what it means to know the truth. I hope to examine the very concept of truth, our ability to know it, and how this actually works in real life. A lot has been written over the centuries about truth. We all act as if we know what it is. But it's more subtle than we might think, so please come back to see what we can learn from examining what we can actually know about the world around us.

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm Back...

After a long absence, during which we went through the Christmas holiday, and the New Year's holiday, and the Valentine's Day holiday, and the Fat Tuesday holiday, and finally, the change to Daylight Saving Time, I've returned. I'll be posting much more frequently now, and there may be some slight political commentary - there's just too much good source material there not to find some that's relevant to the spiritual concerns that are the main focus of this blog.

Regardless of what that winds up looking like, there will be words. Prepare yourselves.