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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Bare Naked Truth

Bare naked truth sounds like it might be something that might bring about more conviction than anything else. Getting to the "core" or the "root" of truth is the stated goal of many serious religious people.

But when searching for the essentials, the bare naked truth, these serious people find themselves at the nude beach of bare naked truth, and everyone's 80 years old. The idea of the bare naked truth and what you get when you think you have found it might not be the kind of match you are looking for.

When searching for truth, you might want it clothed in something. Finding truth in propositions is one way to go about it, but is raw, unadorned, and frankly quite distracting. Sometimes you just can't look at it.

Truth is better understood in story.

It's not the people who are 80 years old are in any way bad, I just don't want to see them naked. I want them clothed. I can interact with a clothed octogenarian, but not a naked one. I can't handle the truth of their nakedness. I can't get past it. I have to look away. However, I can learn the truth of their life not only when they are dressed, but also by how they dress themselves. Yes, the package containing the truth is part of the truth about the truth.

Story, art, experience, nature, beauty - these are the packages in which truth feels most at home. But the story containing truth is not merely the package, separated from the truth, but it is part of the truth. We contribute to the creation of truth by packaging the unchanging Truth into the dynamic packaging of truth.

Unchanging Truth MUST change its clothes in every culture for every time.

Be wary of anyone who wants only the bare naked truth. That's not the kind of truth you will want to look at.

More on story here.

4 comments:

Justin Ray said...

I think that a lot of times the "bare naked truth" is simply too complex, inconvenient, or hard to understand. People who claim to be truth-seekers are generally seeking out simple, straightforward, and convenient explanations that can be universally applied, but the important things are hardly ever simple. It nearly always takes the context of a story, be it myth or experience, to deliver the package.

Greg Brooks said...

I don't know . . . my grandparents are in their 80's, and I don't know how they react to seeing each other naked. They've been married almost 60 years . . . If my mom has to take care of one or both of them in a few years, I don't know how she'll react to seeing her parent naked and helpless. When we're 80, I hope that Carolyn and I get all jazzed up when we see each other naked. Maybe when you live with some truth long enough you get to where you love it, so that when it's naked, it's really good. But, I don't want anybody else looking at my naked wife. They better just get the truth of her through stories!

Fajita said...

The thing about truth is that it can meet me where I am at. It can allow me time to grow into it without compromsing its own integrity.

Truth that welcomes me from where I am and decides to walk with me to the home of truth is not only not compromising its integrity, it is proving it. If truth is love and love is truth, then the truth about love and love in truth cannot avoid anyone.

Justin Ray said...

I think that a lot of times the "bare naked truth" is simply too complex, inconvenient, or hard to understand. People who claim to be truth-seekers are generally seeking out simple, straightforward, and convenient explanations that can be universally applied, but the important things are hardly ever simple. It nearly always takes the context of a story, be it myth or experience, to deliver the package.