A Truth Is For Today
Guest Post by Hal Manogue
The true is only the expedient in the way of our thinking, just as the right is only expedient in the way of our behaving. For what meets expediently in all the experiences in sight won’t necessarily meet all farther equally satisfactorily.
William James expressed those words in his 1906 lecture to Lowell Institute in Boston. James reminds us that truth is flexible. What we believe today may not be true tomorrow. Our behavior may be right today, but that same behavior can be unacceptable in the future. We all incorporate our own truths and they expand as we expand. We believe those truths to be absolute within a certain context of time, and they are above question. We base our future beliefs on our past beliefs, and that foundation gives us a sense of comfort in the now. Truths are guidelines that influence our behavior, how we interact, and how we create.
James went on to say:
Ptolemaic astronomy, Euclidean space, Aristotelian logic, scholastic metaphysics were expedient for centuries, but human experience has boiled over those limits and we now call these things only relatively true or true within those borders of experience.
Relatively true are words we all can relate too. Truth is relative to the believer, but it may not be relative to someone who has other influences and associations built into their belief structure. All of our truths and beliefs are in a constant state of expansion. We have a difficult time recognizing the influences within those truths and beliefs as they expand.
One example of expanding truths and beliefs is our political system. The system is based on the will of the people. The will of the people is a discernible good that all can experience. The will of the people has been turned into a truth by us and the system. But as our system expanded, the will of the people turned into a manufactured will of privileged individuals.
Our will is not that will. We didn’t recognize the influences and associations attached to the plethora of expanded truths and beliefs that are incorporated in our current political system. We still vote using our perceptions of the old system, and that is where the separation takes place. Our belief about the will of the people has remained the same, but the system changed. The will of the people is now a manufactured will of the people due to the survival and economic influences and associations that constantly develop within the system.
Joseph Schumpeter in his 1942 book Capitalism Socialism and Democracy reminds us that:
If we are to argue that the will of the people is a political factor entitled to respect, it must first exist. That is to say, it must be something more than an indeterminate bundle of vague impulses loosely playing about given slogans and mistaken impressions.
Everyone would have to know definitely what he wants to stand for. This definite will would have to be implemented by the ability to observe and interpret correctly the facts that are directly accessible to everyone and to sift critically the information about the facts that are not.
Facts are perceivable truths verified by right actions. In our political system we have unverified facts that constantly float about like air molecules. They morph into the will of people by default due to our inability to observe and interpret these new facts in a way that fits into our controlled belief structure. A plethora of these facts gradually become truths that we don’t stand for.
The book Living Behind The Beauty Shop is all about our beliefs and how we can expand them. The characters in the book discover their ability to expand their beliefs, and the truth that emerges is consequential to the will of people.
Living Behind The Beauty Shop is about a Middle Tennessee boy who understands that greater reality where the psyche is able to communicate with the self that is experiencing other dimensions. The boy, Mase Russell, is living with Down syndrome. He is considered disabled in our normal reality, but he is far more enabled and connected than we are to that stream of consciousness that flows through all of us. He is able to communicate with other aspects of the self while dreaming, and he accepts his dream experiences as real. He is even able to remember those experiences and express them in his own way. His family begins to sense that his disability is a challenging gift not a sentence of suffering.
His family is like any other family. They experience the typical dramas that we all create in our waking reality. His grandfather, Warren Russell is a wealthy business man that lives on his family’s 2000 acre farm in Leipers Fork, Tennessee. The farm was a land grant given to his triple great-grandfather after the American Revolution. Warren and his wife Claire considered the farm their rite of passage until they both experienced a near-death experience on a trip to Florida in their Cessna. After the accident, Warren decides to donate 1000 acres to a non-profit foundation he formed called Perception Farms. Perception Farms is a self-sufficient social-democratic community off the grid that gives the homeless a fresh start.
His daughter Cindy realizes that she’s gay after she marries her college sweetheart. She returns home from California and finds an ex-nun, who is now called Margie, at one of Perception Farm’s fundraisers. Margie discovered her true sexuality when she was in the convent. They become partners and decide to have a child using the sperm of their friend Alan Sutton, a well-educated and athletic individual who works in the shoe business. Baby Mase is born with DS and the story follows his life and the experiences of the family as he becomes an accomplished poet and artist.
Years later, Mase finds Mischa Eddington who is another Down syndrome artist, in a local college art class, and they develop a close relationship. Together they watch members of the family experience the pains of getting older. They offer the family another perspective about that aging process. The family realizes that Mase and Mischa chose to be born with Down syndrome in order to help others see that there are no boundaries or limits in physical life unless we put them there through our beliefs and perceptions. They show us that other realities are just as real as our waking reality.
When we consider that consciousness does not have a beginning or an end in the non-physical world we can better understand that the people we call disabled or homeless are actually teachers who choose to experience life in extraordinary ways. They teach us that putting limits, judgments, and sterilized beliefs in action is the art of separating one aspect of the self from other elements of the psyche.
When that happens, we find ourselves living in the beauty shop of life, which is filled with exterior self-serving nothingness.
Hal Manogue is an author of a recently published book Living Behind The Beauty Shop. Down syndrome is one of the main issues in his novel. He may be found at www.livingbehindthebeautyshop.com and www.halmanogue.blogspot.com.
Born in Philadelphia, Howard (Hal) (Howie) Thomas Manogue spent the first twenty-one years of his life conforming to logical beliefs and rituals. He spent the next twenty-six years of his life rebelling against those beliefs and rituals in one way or another. For the last twelve years he has devoted his life to dissecting beliefs and that journey has taken him through the history of religious thought and the intricacies of philosophy.
Retiring from the shoe industry after 35 years of “sole” searching, Hal discovered his real soul when he started writing poetry in 1996. His first book, Short Sleeves A Book For Friends, was self-published in 2003. His second book, Short Sleeves A Book For Friends 2006 Collection, was released in May 2006. His third book, Short Sleeves A Book For Friends 2007 Collection, was released in January 2007. Short Sleeves Spirit Songs was published in July 2008. Spirit Songs Echoes of Silence will be released in 2011. Essays from the book, Short Sleeves Insights: Live An Ordinary Life In A Non-Ordinary Way (published in May 2008) have been republished in other books and newsletters around the globe. All these books are available on his Web site: http://www.shortsleeves.net/.
Hal’s poems have been published by Mystic Pop Magazine, Children of the New Earth Magazine, New Age Tribune, Seasons of the Soul Newsletters, The Ascension Network, Lightship News, and Writers in the Sky E-zine. On his blog, he has published over a thousand essays on consciousness. More of his essays can be found on ezinearticles.com, bizymoms.com, authorsden.com, holistichealth.com, and newagetribune.com.
He works as a free-lance writer and is published all over the world. Hal currently lives in Brentwood, Tennessee with his wife, Joanie.