I’m not even sure how to get started with this… let’s say that during what we can definitively label as ‘unusual times’, I feel compelled to share my experience and viewpoint in discussing this very, very sensitive topic. I’m as confused and puzzled as the next gal/guy but that doesn’t really change my stance: staying in the eye of the storm.
So I’ll first start with the (probably familiar) picture below as an analogy. Here, the object at the center in this 3D space can be considered a truth, as it is completely defined in all the dimensions of that space. Now, each projection (or perception) of this very same object along each of the different axis are facts… undeniable, true, facts (square – triangle – circle) ; but facts that only reflect one aspect of the truth (the object). These facts would seem contradictory to anyone having only a partial view of the truth. This is a clear example of the distinction between facts and truth.
A similar analogy is found in the parable of the elephant and the blind men (picture below), where each of them is asked to describe what they are ‘sensing’. All of their perceptions are factual (true) but none could fathom the complete truth of what lie in front of them. If only they could ‘see’ the whole picture.
Can we see the whole picture? Can we grasp something beyond the fragmented facts? Can we access all the dimensions of the truth we’re looking for? More than often these days, I find myself overflown by an unparalleled amount of facts but completely incapable of grasping the truth. Any truth. How can I navigate reality without a sense of trust towards the information I’m provided with? And I’m not even going into the direction of questioning some of these facts, even though we can safely assume that there is a lot of ‘fake news’ out there.
As a reasonably articulate person (I mean intellectually), educated enough to understand scientific publications, sensible enough to be empathic towards people with dramatically different viewpoints, I still find myself incapable of formulating an opinion on most of the ‘hot topics’ that concern (or should concern) humanity these days: vaccination, diversity and inclusion, climate changes, economical models, political inclinations, education, social media, etc…
This intellect of mine that I have cultivated, trained and heavily relied upon up to now is telling me objectively that it cannot decipher reality anymore. And maybe thinking that it ever could was my mistake in the first place. So how to adapt, survive and thrive? I’ve started listening and relying upon a different organ in my body: a move from the brain to heart. Not that one is better than the other, but I’ve realized that my heart is as much of a trustworthy compass (if not more), especially when my logical brain is rendered useless. The heart operates very differently though, and needs peace and quiet to be listen to. It might take a bit of practice, trial and errors to act upon its messages but it is totally worth a try. And to be honest, in hindsight, this is my heart who always guided me at every crossroads where new opportunities for growth were presented to me.
So this is how I’m coping with the craziness and the information overflow these days. I do neutrally observe the facts knowing they can’t rationally lead me to the truth. I trust my heart to guide me through the global storms we’re all faced with. And the truth will eventually surface and make herself known unequivocally. A good amount of patience is required as well.