On FB my bandmate Rayna Jhaveri asked
May 28, 2020
What's a persistent theme in your life?"My answer was
Kirk Israel thinking that there's objective truth, but you can never be certain you know it, which makes me more empathetic (since other people might have a better view of The Objective Truth) and less empathetic (since I don't value their subjective truth, nor my own.)Rayna:
Kirk Israel perpetual existentialism! So does it annoy you when people say "know your truth"?
yeah, My truth is that everyone's truth is bunk, including my own. we must always strive for a validation we can never reach.Sebastian Lopez:
Kirk when you "let go" more you'll
Find more peace
I'm trying to come out of this conundrum
The irritable self wants to establish truth and argue
My advice is to forgive oneself
By letting go,
Even if that requires effort
Then the larger picture gets a lot clearer
( I know you don't know me. I'm Rayna's friend)
My long winded answer:
Hey Sebastian! Actually, when combined with the safety and privilege I enjoy in life, mine is a pretty peaceful mindset! Relative to many of my fellow lefties I have to avoid "both sides-er-ism", and I have trouble with the endlessly fomented outrage, as justified as that can feel in this age of racism and inequality and anti-expertism,
(I don't think the left and the right have equally objectively correct views- but I know the people on the right aren't the villains in their own story either, and are struggling for "good" causes. Possibly the wrong "good" causes, which is bad.)
To me, deep and abiding faith is a weird lack of empathy with all those people who don't share your faith. How could they all be so misled? So we can squint and have a "many paths" interpretation, the "know your truth" bit Rayna mentioned, but I find that deeply unsatisfying - a Truth that isn't universal isn't a real truth.
And what if the big underlying truth behind everything is an existentialist giant animated spinning GIF going "LOL NOTHING MATTERS"? Shouldn't we each then be free to find/know/make our own truth? In my way of thinking, no. Even if all truths are relative, with no rockbed of absolutism, some are relatively "better" than others (tho of course there isn't a single axis of worse/better, but still) and so people should be working to figure out which one is best.
But that "relative best truth" might easily have different faces, it might say that the faith you should practically live is context dependent - like if you're raised in a Christian family, the best path for you is likely to be a good Christian, but if you're raised in a Hindu family, the best path for you is to be a good Hindu. But even then, when people do their own casual "comparative religions" study, they tend to appeal to core humanistic principles. Truth is not democratic, Reality can't be put to a vote... but you go against widely held consensus at your own rhetorical peril, and if people from many faiths say "well this death cult is probably tragically misguided, for these instinctive humanistic principles", then I would nominate those instinctive humanistic principles as being closer to the "relative best truth" than any of the separate faiths.
(but again, a caveat: you can come up with cases where our moral intuitions are suspect! People have LESS empathy when shown a pair of siblings suffering than one child alone, and even less when shown a whole classroom-ful... I think it's because a single case of suffering seems like an anomaly we might be able to help with, but once the numbers go up, it just feels like the way of the world... so our instincts and appeals to human feeling are unreliable judges. Emotion and Intellect have to work it out, together.)
I suspect ALL human motivating force comes from an intrinsic emotion. (And at least one form of depression comes from that motivating force just running out, leaving an intellect intact but utterly drained of vital energy.) The paradox In my case is my intrinsic overwhelming emotion is to not be controlled by mere intrinsic emotion, to always second guess and look for that which can be externally justified. (It come from the kind of Christianity I was raised in and then personally fostered as a kid, a Sky God figure I could have a tenuous direct connection to, and then who would judge me for infinite stakes at the end.)
Sorry for the length of this! I probably coulda/shoulda left off after the first two paragraphs! But I find it satisfying to try and summarize where I'm philosophically at, and this seemed like a bully pulpit.
Some fun emulations of LCD games. Mario's Cement Factory is especially good.
I guess I didn't watch much "Friends"... I was today years old when I found out Ross and Monica were siblings.