The Grass Roots Truth (or, Thoughts While Mowing)
I sometimes wonder if mowing the lawn is a good thing. It makes the yard more aesthetically pleasing I suppose, although even that could be debated. The birds and squirrels seem happy after I mow. They arrive en masse to pummel the upturned insects and frogs, but what about the poor insects and frogs? Is mowing better for them?
I have been taught to understand that grass roots grow down below the ground only as far as the stem (or blade) grows above it. Deep roots will, of course, have better access to moisture and will give the grass a better chance to survive the heat and droughts of summer. It is why professionals cut at 3”, which is considerably higher than most weekend warriors, most of whom mistakingly believe that the lower they cut the less often they will have to mow. I say mistakenly because low grass is also thin grass, which allows weeds the room they need to sprout. Weeds grow faster than grass, ergo… more mowing. “Even” is what should be desired, not short.
And if it is true that higher grass is more capable of survival, then I am back to, ”why mow at all?” If 3” is good, then why not 12”? Or even 24”? The fields around my house seem to do ok without the help of man. The animals in them seem happy enough, although those fields are not great for walking through, what with the briars, ticks, trip hazards and all. Still, the grass seems healthy, and is “even” across the top, so that it sways prettily in the breeze. Perhaps I should just quit mowing… for the sake of the grass, that is.
Ahhh, but there is Pooky-Bear looking out the window, pretending to worry about me mowing in this devilish heat while also insuring that I finish the job. She did not seem worried though when she mentioned how high the grass was yesterday morning, or last night when she said, “Hmmm, I see Clyde has mowed his yard?” Or this morning, when she asked when I planned to mow it? So perhaps it is not for the health of the grass that I mow, but for the satisfaction of our neighbors. So that they might see that I too have a wife strong enough to make me push this mower in 100 degrees?
And over there is my dog General Sherman lying in the shade under the bass boat, waiting. Let’s consider the boat for a second. We all know that anything neglected weathers away faster than something kept sharp and clean with use. The boat will soon fade in color, and congeal in the motor if not soon put to use. This mowing is leading to the early decay of a significant financial investment, and must be stopped immediately! But wait… I see she has laid out the hedge trimmers in the garage?
We Hold These ... (heartfelt utterances... infantile inferences... no I guess we’ll go with...) Truths
Can truth be more than math or reason?
Proved by standing tests of time?
Does it reside in crop or season
Free from the behest of rhyme?
P'rhaps that answer doesn't please 'n
'Coz we want too much to climb?
'Questing for what quivers 'treason'
When we recognize a crime...
Truth is I'm no one to answer
Questions inside pumping hearts.
I'm no bleed'n bullseye lancer;
Don't profess no maps nor charts.
All I do is ask the wherefore;
Are we really aiming true?
One might ask why ever care for
Evidence of self?
What clue would be enough to quell the yearning
Set into our minds from birth?
Is there truth?
And can our learning
Curve 'round to a better Earth?
July 4th and the Real Self-evident Truth Behind that Day
July fourth, the day we celebrate our freedoms. The day we officially became an independent country away from the tyranny of England and a tyrannical King.
July fourth, the day the Declaration of independence was signed, where officially the thirteen colonies formed would become U.S. States.
But hold the phone! Stop the presses!
We have been taught this history since we were children and it will still be taught in schools and even universities but there is something you may not be aware of that in truth, is not so "self-evident". Back in June of 1776, a man named Richard he n ry Lee, put together a draft, later to be called the Lee Resolution.
It stated, "That these united colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states." The Lee Resolution contained three parts: a declaration of independence, a call to form foreign alliances, and a plan for confederation.
Because members of Congress believed the actions Lee proposed to be premature or wanted instructions from their colonies before voting, approval was deferred until July 2. On that date, Congress adopted the first part (the declaration). The words of the Lee Resolution are echoed in the Declaration of Independence.
The affirmative votes of twelve colonies were listed in the signatures. New York didn't cast a vote until the newly elected New York Convention upheld the Declaration of Independence on July 9, 1776.
The plan for making treaties was not approved until September of 1776; the plan of confederation was delayed until November of 1777.
Thereby, based on a little-known piece of history we in effect and by now, should be self-evident that our "Independence" wasn't July Fourth but rather July Second
But hey, who am I to upset the apple cart, right? Celebrate both days and be happy for the fact we still do have some rights and freedoms, and that's self-evident.
As for most of the questions posed in this challenge, in a round ab out way they have been answered.
Self to see that it all comes down to the nail being hit by the hammer after all has been stated- something passed on and hopefully not bent or otherwise bent~refracted like light with/out no\any Evidence— verifying with a checklist, or sort of note that reveals the shall we say part of the final piece of the puzzle the whole True story leaving no room for any slight doubt|s of the light passing through the main point all the way through the Prism(s)!
#Prism(s)! (c) 2nd July, 2022.
There are truths
every great philosopher, prophet and native people
from 5000 BC to present time use as a foundation of life.
love thy neighbor
do unto others as you would have them do unto you
it is more blessed to give than receive
man does not live by bread alone
honor your father and mother
you reap what you sow
keep your word
you are loved
do no harm
heaven is within
The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys
Dao De Jing
The Book of Shadows
The themes are repeated.
This is the truth
provided so every human
can reach their full potential
with every culture in the world.
Truth: the body of real things, events and facts; that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality; a judgement, proposition, idea or belief that is accepted as true.
“We see the world not as it is, but as we are – or as we are conditioned to see it. When we open our mouths to describe what we see, we in effect describe ourselves, our perceptions, our paradigms.” (Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
That is, regardless of the visible “facts” of any given situation, we see what we expect to see, based on our perceptions of reality.
There are some 7.8 billion people walking the earth at this moment. Put any two together, have them witness the same scene, and, even assuming they speak the same native language (there are about 6500), chances are they will describe it differently. Highlight different aspects, completely ignore or be unaware of others. Even though the visible facts seem self-evident. I mean, you’re looking at the same scene, how much more self-evident can one get?
If we cannot agree on what is “self-evident” to the eye, how can we hope to agree on that which is evident only to the mind or the heart and must be expressed with words that are filtered by the sum total of our divergent experiences?
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Lovely sentiment that, at the time it was written, was much more limited in scope and application than the all-encompassing words imply. And the country whose shackles begat the defense of said truths…disagreed. As did most if not all the world’s governing powers in their own spheres of socioeconomic inequality. And even many of the peoples who would be subject to the new and improved government to which this declaration sought to give rise did not agree with the very broad and beautiful words that were only words and not truths self-evident to any, quite possibly not even the writers. They sound wonderful. Worthy. I mean, who wouldn’t fight to ensure that ALL MEN had the right to LIVE FREE and with the opportunity to seek happiness? (The other side, apparently.)
The Golden Rule has versions across the world’s major religions so one might consider it self-evident. It is, to paraphrase, treat others as you would wish to be treated. Looking around, though, you would think the actual rule is treat others as you anticipate you will be treated, where one is always anticipating the worst.
Truths, like beliefs and ideas, cannot be seen, so the path to “self-evident” is even murkier than agreeing on what we can actually see with our eyes. Ultimately, we make a choice to believe, to accept ideas and truths…or not. And, far too often, even if we profess certain beliefs, and support generally accepted truths, actions belie our words.
The only self-evident truths that we have no choice but to accept as true? We are born and we will die. Everything else, as we see on a daily basis, is subjective. Relative. Debatable. Based on so many things that are not self-evident.
Truths today, but maybe not tomorrow.
Unloose the Gordian Knot!
I am not so fortunately placed as others here would seem, to live without method, unmoored and amiss, in both action and belief a foreigner to truth, at all times determined by a handful of dust, begging from the Pragmatist’s cup, existing in every possible way, but never according to that one which is entirely self-evident to them.
Alas, perhaps I’ve missed my introductory philosophy lesson?! I did hear the clock ring a while back, and after all, I am like a man who sees the works of a watch for the first time…what healthy mind can reject its evidence?
I am glad then, there are those eager to fill my place in that penal colony: they will tell me, as they always do, with the coveted deliciousness of opening Pandora’s box, that nothing is true, as nothing can be ‘absolutely true’ – whatever they suppose that to mean. And how they love to let that harrow rake their backs, every contusion an ascendancy, every scream a benighted blessing.
I enjoy a good philosophic romp as much as the next man, but I will not be disposed to find my intellectual integrity in an infinitude of untruths, endlessly at odds with each other, requiring the most strenuous of juggling acts to maintain, so that none can be held simultaneously nor touch another without immediate contradiction. Convenience and balance agree more with my simple tastes; and besides, I despise hypocrisy too much to stand if my human sentiments were opposed to my rational impulses.
Still, I will not pretend to know those who on behalf of obscure axioms are settled by the relativity of any truth, no matter how obviously universal; a point they appear to defend as though it were self-evident.
‘There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative…The relativity of truth is not a theoretical insight but a moral postulate, the condition of a free society, or so they see it. They have all been equipped with this framework early on, and it is the modern replacement for the inalienable natural rights that used to be the traditional American grounds for a free society…The danger they have been taught to fear from absolutism is not error but intolerance. Relativism is necessary to openness; and this is the virtue, the only virtue, which all primary education for more than fifty years has dedicated itself to inculcating.’
Setting aside our new virtue, I would oblige the good Dr. Bloom for a moment of his better discernment, to defend what I feel to be a mistaking of Self-Evident as Absolute, among his students certainly, but also by the rest of us who’ve been prepared by that fifty year’s inculcation.
When one attempts to grapple with the problem of the Absolute, to run his fingers along its intricacies, to dig into its grooves and hoist its bulk on his back, the more does he come to learn that what he handles is no less than that impossible Gordian knot. And he is doomed to puzzle away at it indefinitely, not because it is intuitive to him, or because he agrees that this knot ties together the most natural explanations, but rather, for the basic reason that compels all curiosity: it exists; because it has been proposed and stands before him. So, like the obscure, black-hooded figures of history who swarm and tire away at it, does he also become paralysed by the mass of rope, quibbling on at an eternity of twists and loops and tangles, failing to see that nothing of the world around him, nor the people who inhabit it, depend on a single one of its tethers. If he could just gather the Alexandrian courage to simply cut it…
When in grade school we read of those things which we hold to be self-evident, before the time when we reasonably should, and usually from a teacher who is past her season to relay—whenever we make our acquaintance with this idea, we should remember that we are not reading from the book of Philosophy. The concept is unaware of the petty abstract, with absolutely no appeal whatsoever to the Absolute, its origin taken to be altogether wider and more grounded than the general run of philosophy.
Self-evident is a term that invokes being, one which springs from a collective humanity, different in the minor points, but alike fundamentally in those matters of dignity, well-being and prosperity. It is a word that if removed from its human subject loses all its sense, as it does immediately when taken into philosophical quandary; it is the child of conscience, which cannot be made to chime with any feeble logic, with some omniscient foundation—luckily, it is much more fortunate than that. It is a word that joins us in our unspoken sympathies, which needs bear no doubt about itself, that forces us to recognize the misery of our fellow man, his pain and his downfall, and to know indelibly, without any syllogistic pretext, that it is wrong.
Socrates called it our Daemon, a child will call it her Golden Rule, but in whichever way you refer to the Self-Evident, it will always resemble that universal, internal voice, inherited by everyone who grows to have a healthy mind, if bearing even the most average moral stock. Whether it is ‘true’, well that is a question better dealt with by Orwell:
‘In England such concepts as justice, liberty and objective truth are still believed in. They may be illusions, but they are very powerful illusions. The belief in them influences conduct, national life is different because of them. In proof of which, look about you. Where are the rubber truncheons, where is the castor oil? The sword is still in the scabbard, and while it stays there, corruption cannot go beyond a certain point…But in a sense it is irrelevant whether democracy, at its highest or at its lowest, is ‘better’ than totalitarianism. To decide that one would have to have access to absolute standards. The only question that matters is where one’s real sympathies will lie when the pinch comes.’
Of course, only a fool would declare that the Self-Evident is absolute, there is no need to. All that is needed is to acknowledge ourselves in the lives of our fellow creatures. Denying the Self-Evident when we pretend to wonder at the obviousness of our sympathies, is doing no less a thing than that complete rejection of our own humanness. For the sake of not appearing simple-minded in the face of poorly conceived, discursive, hairbrained philosophies? For the same sake, to pretend in spite of ourselves that we are something less than what we are, that we do not know and feel in every tingling hair when something is self-evidently right or wrong?
Let the intelligentsia, who have always been perfectly content to do so, bind themselves together in endless philosophic contortions, to trip and hobble over their principled unknowingness. Let us do the real living. In every question there is a glimmer of truth, if only we weren’t so afraid of our own self-evidence and the vested human authority to govern it.
Choice, Truth, and Coffee
There is great power in any action taken or not taken.
This speaks on choice; the choice is self-evident. In all manners of the word, humans have a choice to which we can train. We utilize the power of choice in every manner in which we exist in the world together. From the moment we arose from our slumber to the moment that exists right now a choice is constantly being made. This we should not ignore, and the choice that is made should be worthy of the effort's input. Then to reflect upon the efforts, or the dissent of the efforts should be made to understand what better choice can be made in the future. When that future choice may arise, know what is best to create a foundation for the future.
There is great understanding in observing the spectrum of truth.
Truth is not subjective, it exists, although often confusing the truth can change to a lie and a lie into a truth. As in many realities in life we live in an observable spectrum, and the point on the spectrum should often be balanced by supporting arguments.
Once in a time, there was no coffee, our thirst was for water. Then one day a bean was found then chewed upon which created vitality, and an offering of stimulation when needed. Then it fell into the line, that coffee is defined.
Don’t Be A Govinda
This lacks originality as it's a concept expressed in someone else's writing. I'll make my point. Eventually. Probably. Look, I'm doing my best, okay?
There's a book I like by the name of Siddhartha. Simply explained, it's about the son of an Indian holy man who basically says "Wtf dad, this all kinda seems like bullshit" and decides to leave home to find the true meaning of life. Shenanigans ensue. Slight spoiler- on his journey, he meets Buddha. He is intrigued by this as he's ya know, on the search for the truth or whatever but once he meets him, he is unimpressed. The chapter goes something like this:
SIDDHARTHA: So this is Buddha, huh?
GOVINDA: Uh yeah, he's pretty dope.
S: I mean, I guess...he's just like, sitting there. I don't get it.
G: Whaddya mean? He's enlightened.
S: What is THAT supposed to mean?
G: He's like, found the truth. You know, the meaning of all things.
S: What is the TRUTH?
G: It's the TRUTH, man. I don't know.
S: Oh, for fuck's sa-HEY BUDDHA!
BUDDHA: *casts a lazy yet enlightened eye over at Siddhartha*
S: Yo, Buddha. What's the deal? How exactly are you supposed to show people "the truth" What even is enlightenment?
G: What the hell, Sid? Be cool, do you not realize-
S: No hold on, Vin- this guy is a con artist, don't you see? He can tell us how you got there, but he can't SHOW us what it's like to be there, man. [to Buddha] Quit bullshitting everybody!
B: *gives Siddhartha an enlightened smirk, walks off enlightenedly to continue enlightening his followers*
S: What was that about?
G: I don't know but you're lucky he didn't come for you. That was rude af, my guy.
S: Whatever. Let's bounce. This is lame.
G: Actually...I'm gonna stay.
S: For real?
G:Yeah, dude...I'm kinda digging what he's saying.
S: BUT HE'S NOT SAYING ANY- alright, know what? You do you. I don't get it, but I respect it.
G: You're still my boy, though. You got this.
S: Yeah. You too. Be good.
This chapter stuck with me the most out of the entirety of the book despite it being one of the earliest and least involved chapters of the story. I read it while "finding myself". *gag* I mentally revisit it often as it serves as a reminder- when it comes to the TRUTH, especially truths involving the intangible, that is for you to define. We may have truths that can't be argued (though people will certainly still try), things like math, science, and so on but as far as what things like peace, openness, healing, spiritual connection, etc...no one can define that for us. Someone can tell us the steps they took to get there, but our path may very well lead in a totally different direction. Truth, like many other things in life, is subject to duality. It is both tangible and intangible, defended and defenseless, objective and subjective. All these years later, I'm still a little peeved with Govinda for choosing to follow the steps of another in pursuit of oneness. But that's his truth, right?
headaches and concussions!
from the dawn of time, humans walked with this itching desire to define things. in those distant days the words they had were something like: frog, hamburger, sex. but after some time, that was not enough.
you see, as we started to paint walls, and hit objects with long, blunt clubs everyone starts asking questions about the things they observed. what is a frog? is a chickenburger intrinsically a hamburger? will i have sex when i want it?
you see, the word in itself did not satisfy that need anymore. there was great dispair and frustration. that is, until the concept of definition came to be. our forefathers got it into their thick skulls that words could be followed by other words, that explain what it was : a frog is an an amphibious vertebrate animal that lives in or in proximity to certain bodies of freshwater. the frog IS defined by these aspects. we may delve deeper and pick apart these aspects (bodies of fresh water? amphibians? ) and define them further and then the defnitions we created may allow us to add more and more definitions to our heart's content. until there is nothing theoretically, that we haven't defined about frogs and what it is frogness, and froghood, and how to distinguish it from hamburgerness.
these massive fields of knowledge, overlapping at times with other fields allow us greater comfort and provide us with many practical advantages.
with logical tools, we reasoned our way to understand much of the world, and soon developed the scientific method of inquiry to give us even more precise definitions.
but some things are far from easy to define. emotions, for example are hard to define objectively. suppose i define the word DISGUST as 'the emotion you feel when you see a frog placed between two buns , with cheese, tomatos, lettuce and mustard.' i may also add 'a man eating this frogburger will commit an act which causes others to feel disgust. '
but will that statment be a sufficient definition of the word? how about all the other examples of disgusting things? (like certain recent world events..) are they not disgusting? if they are, are they equitable to the frogburger? how about a frogburger with mayonnaise?!?
'hold on! wait!' you may say, 'what's so wrong with mayonnaise? '
i shall express, at this momoment, my visceral hatred of the French egg-based condiment, and show both of us how our tastes diverge, and how i confuse hatred with disgust.
the truth is, that frogburger, shall be an EXAMPLE but not a definition. there may even be exceptions for this example; there are those who will happily take a sizzling, bony frogburger with fries AND mayonnaise, even if it shall be generally agreed to be repulsive.
my example of both definition and example show the fundamental difficulty of defining things and making inhetent connections between conventions which are debatable.
at some point in history, when our skull bones grew thinner, and we started that whole 'agriculture and civilization jazz', some people decided to give their habit of musing a more proffessionally-respectable name, styling themselves as philosophers. for entertainment and concern of the public, they began to organize and systemize the knowledge they had, with the hope of gleaming more knowledge from the practice.
some of these giants quickly became aware of the difficulty of definition and decided to quit, and get into another field of work. others chose to keep at it and to storm headfirst the seemingly impenetrable wall that separated the world as it is, and the world that we can express in words. many died, dashing their fragile craniums against the unyeilding walls, to the cheers of the crowds who looked for these violent events with relish.
others decided to rethink their approach to systemic thought and showbiz. ' why break your head running into the wall, when you could bypass it?' they said. of course , this was a break from the traditional definition of philosophy, as a bloody spectator sport.
these malingers decided that to hold the house of knowledge up rather than let it fall into uncertainty, we must found it on self-evident concepts. concept that shalk not be followed by a definition. they reasoned that while perhaps one day, what is lacking in exact definition will be reasoned through, it was not yet acheived and the heads are still painful from trying. leave off conceptions like justice, peace, life, death, happiness and disgust to a later date. you may use these concepts, knowing you can not define them, but throw them about as if you do. to cast bigger structures.
you don't need to know how they make the saussages.
this was no wild act of thought, just a leap of faith. we assume that happiness is impossible to define, but can see that all people desire it. we assume the justice is not definable, but can see when it's lacking. and so we build upon this unsteady, dodgy ground. what we erect is no palace of learning. but it is sturdy enough to hold a roof over our heads.
here are a few statments that i hope may show just how poorly founded and debatable self evident concepts are.
chickenburgers with mayonnaise bring happiness. and all men shall have a right to the pursuit of chickenburgers with mayonnaise.
the justice we may hope for is founded on universally evident morality , and so waterparks are proof of the decent and justice of a society.
all life is sacred, which is why gun laws should all be retired, for they hinder the abillity of individuals to protect themselves and others.
it's better to incarcerate all nose-pickers than to release one innocent person.
as we can see, every one of these statments contains something that you may agree with (or not) only that none of these assertions are wholly in the right, or that the implication is totally insane.
that is the problem with self evident assertions. much or some that is implied by them is doomed to failure, confusion or insanity.
better put on your hard hats...