The truth about ... truth

"All our knowledge has its origin in our perceptions."
Loenardo Da Vinci, a man much wiser than I once said that. He was, or should I say is, undoubtedly correct.
The last post on this blog was a series of three sentences, a total of fifty four words, woefully out of context leaving the reader to fill in the blanks. More accurately, it provided the blanks asking the reader to fill in the sentence.
Not entirely the aim of the exercise, an interesting side effect made itself apparent.
Nine of ten people who told me what they thought of it had different (putting it very very mildly) views on what the sentences meant or were supposed to convey.
Opinions ranged from the romantic (saying that the woman the smoker loved was on the train. This is the view that was duplicated, in a way, the second person said that something precious to him was on the train) to the metaphysical where the train represented a "train of thought."
Another person looked upon the smoke as a sign of hope in the midst of sadness and gloom, represented by the "blackness surrounding him."
An opinion that came as a surprise to me, was on a tangent to all of these, namely, a vision of green fields and the smoker, a happy man.
Each of these disparate views of the same fifty four words took me back to them and each time staring at them with an incredulous expression the question would be asked "Could it really mean that?"
The answer - absolutely!
Each of us marches to the beat of a different drummer and will do so in spite of the best efforts of those around to change the tune. The drummer plays in the most private and sacred of all places ... our heads.
The fundamental ingredient of knowledge is truth. Each person saw in that passage truth as perceived by him/her. The implications of this, while very clear in everyone's mind, has not found voice or come to the forefront. To see an example of this is .... humbling.
Empirical evidence of the individuality governing each of us can be seen in the continuation of the story by 'Smee! and the others.
Coming back to what Da Vinci said. If what we know is based on what we see how do we know that what we see is absolutely correct?
The concept of questioning ourselves never finds a foothold in our minds. Why not?
The arrogance and complacence that comes about with admitting that we can never be wrong is a common pitfall that more than a few of us have fallen prey to.
All stimuli one is exposed to are sentences with blanks in them. The blanks being filled up, sometimes incorrectly, by intuition or based on prior experience. Does this mean that the conclusion arrived at based on that educated guess is the best that can be arrived at?
More often than not, the passage of time, accretion of knowledge and growth, in general changes the opinions formed in the yesteryears to ones more apt to the situation. Experience, knowledge and maturity play a greater part in determining how one thinks than one wishes to give it credit for.
One's opinions are like a pot set in clay, if found to have a leak, to be broken, molded and shaped once again into a different pot, to hold water .... this time, losing less.


Sketcher said...

This one almost flew over my head! :)
It is true that every individual likes to see things the way they want to. But it reamins true for as long as they are unaware of anothers view. And you are absolutely right about how experience and maturity play a part in the way one thinks.

'Smee! said...