Truth and Opinion

This Forum is dedicated to the Druidic search for the underlying meaning of life, the unifying nature of our common humanity, and our interconnectedness in the search for truth.
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Heddwen
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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by Heddwen » 24 Sep 2010, 19:22

Thanks, I've only got one! :)

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Fox of the Oaks
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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by Fox of the Oaks » 25 Sep 2010, 03:48

Hello :)

I am happy to see the various points of view expressed here.

I also resonate with the idea of natural balance, which I try to tune into and embody when spending time in 'untouched' environments. Yet adopting this approach in urban environments seems to require a different strategy. While I don't like to separate Nature and Humanity, on one level they are distinct - yet on another I view all as part of Nature. I see the necessity of there being a place for this natural balance amongst humans, amongst the cities and urban places, and even amongst our sciences, religions, institutions and such - for our survival, but beyond that, for our growth and genuine prosperity. It may be more challenging to remain in natural balance in such environments, yet to me this is part of the Druid Way.

Nature to me reflects an effortless way of handling things it seems, perhaps because it has that balance, and is deeply rooted in that - The path of least resistance is natural. Since our human world is a construct of human understandings, beliefs and such, it can reflect anything from balance with Nature to near complete reversals of that, yet I trust the cauldron we are all in is a big one, big enough to keep the ultimate balance eventually.

Opinions could be seen in relation to that balance. I would think opinions can have many effects upon the world, when acted upon, and can also influence things like science, religion, the natural environment etc. I do not think it matters where you are placed in life, Nature and natural balance is always present on some level, and I see the Druid way to be about becoming part of that balance, or balancing process (as it is a journey), which includes our personal perspective on life.

Another interesting point amongst all this is that nature cycles through seasons to maintain balance, there is little, if any, linear constancy... the circle, the spiral, the rhythms of time.

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by Merlyn » 27 Sep 2010, 00:45

Hi PineRaven,
People do indeed have different truths. Science relies on a given, defined and tested view, until of course it isn't. And Archeology redefines science with every discovery, so do many other things. Evolution and earth creation have been a couple of issues changed by discovery, time and time again. So do I take any given scientific theory as fact? truth? ... not really. I tend to look at any science as always getting closer to 'a' truth, however not the be-all of truth.

The wisdom of druidry is for me, the core understandings, and through them the ability to see all views as valid (spiritually) to the extent of truth.
This however is created by experience not dictated dogma, math or science. The distortion of understanding can be a problem if the view is never widely experienced and thus is not considered a truth by all.

If another says to me, they hear the voices of the dead, (as example) and I simply do not, do I believe they do?
Many discount the accounts of others... until they have an experience they cannot deny. These things which happen are not in the realm of science, often. However some do try to explain away the accounts with science or some recreation of sorts.
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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by Fox of the Oaks » 27 Sep 2010, 01:29

Yeah, thanks Merlyn for pointing out the importance of experience.

Perhaps I can share a little of my background (experience):

My journey has been one where I embraced Science (Physics and Mathematics mainly) because I found it came to me rather effortlessly. During that time, I began to practice meditation also, and had a rather powerful awakening to my inner being - I then came to see the limits of Science, which I had little questioned up till that point. I saw how the minds of various professors were unaware of themselves at a deeper level, looking outwardly so to speak. I wanted to understand my self, from myself - something I had not seen possible with the Physical Sciences then.

I then explored various religions and traditions and through them came to find my own spirituality, though in my naive and one-sided view, I, as many do, rejected my past explorations [of Science] for want of something 'better'. I then included Science as one thing to blame for the state of the world, having created all the machines and technology that have caused so much destruction and suffering - now I see there are humans behind this, and most of those humans are in deep pain, enmeshed in a system they did not wholly create, may not fully understand, and are unable to see themselves or others clearly, disconnected from the whole; or perhaps they are just souls in learning. Either way, to expect a perfect world is perhaps to miss out on spiritual growth.

Perhaps I will come to see over time people's lives and their situations with greater depth and empathy.

Now my life is becoming nicely nested in Druidry, and I am learning so much, yet seeing how much there is to learn.

I have become aware of the need for integration between my past 'scientific being' and my current self, over the past few years, and have been seeking to find a more complete view of things, and integrate the various parts of my being and the way I relate to the world and its many paradigms - I have also found great joy in exploring art, literature, language, history and many other areas. OBOD has been fantastic as an aid towards this integration.

For me, the model which fits an integration well is the Alchemical tradition, which is also found in Druidry, perhaps in a more natural form, which I really find ideal. It resonates well with who I was born as - I have always felt most akin to Nature and its deeper experiences.

I am really happy that people can share so many viewpoints here with a great deal of respect and friendship, for this I am grateful.

Thank you,
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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by Heddwen » 27 Sep 2010, 16:55

Interesting. I, too have a background in scientific study I wonder how many OBODs have as well. I found that I was asking many questions and searching for hard scientific answers, then I discovered and integrated my spiritual side. I felt more complete. I studied spirituality and eventually arrived at Druidry, it resonated with me totally-I still ask a lot of questions but have developed a different way of thinking...it's a belief in the sanctity of nature and of the divine manifested within the Land around me. My Truth.I made many connections and things fell into place.

It's great to access a board like this and read the opinions of others, I guess our opinions are one of the things that make us inherently human. I'm intrigued by the reference to the Alchemical tradition. Is this something beyond my studies on the OBOD course as yet, or is it something else?

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by wolf560 » 27 Sep 2010, 20:37

In University my favorite classes were Medieval History and Physics.
Both gave me a breadth of understanding into something "beyond".

Throughout the course of my life some of it has changed and that is alright
I can 'bend my mind' around the changes and incorporate them into my understanding.

I imagine that when it was revealed that the Earth was not in fact flat that a great many people had a similar time of enlightenment as well

Science and Spirituality are not incongruent, they can get along with each other
One does not preclude or diminish the other

Regardless of our thoughts and kinetic manipulations; when an apple falls from the tree it will fall at a set velocity and hit the ground not far from the tree itself...

The 'MetaPhysical Why it fell' may be a far longer discourse (LOL)
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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by Fox of the Oaks » 28 Sep 2010, 01:31

Hi Heddwen,

I'm not sure where you are up to in your OBOD studies, so I don't want to potentially spoil what may be ahead...?

What I will say is how I define Alchemy for my own development, which is basically the integration of the various aspects of myself into a greater whole and greater state of wholeness - spiritual and physical, past and future, self and society, self and nature, science and religion, light and dark, sky and earth, et al., as well as the elements, earth, water, fire, air, and spirit - and their corresponding connections. Finding a balance and developing these areas is what I pursue, all towards resonance with the greater Natural Cosmos. This is a cyclical journey for me, creative and natural, as I strive to develop wisdom and love for all things - to me that is a way of Alchemical Druidry.

I have explored some writings of Carl Jung on the subject, and also various other writers (Patrick Harpur I find very good) and some traditional medieval texts (which are rather bafflings at times). I also have a background in Yoga, Astrology and Ayurvedic Medicine, which is all essentially Alchemical. OBOD has extended this understanding and made it more personal, creative and flexible - more alive in short. So I draw from a number of areas, but still see how Druidry alone constitutes an Alchemical path.

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by serenarian » 28 Sep 2010, 14:54

After reading the thread and thinking about the question, I'm not sure there is such thing as truth. At least, not in the sense of 'absolute' truth. We as humans perceive the world in a certain way, and maybe we all have ideas, perceptions and beliefs that 'ring true' for us, but in the larger scheme of things I don't believe there is just one truth.

Humanity as a whole has become obsessed with this idea of truth. Wars are being fought over it. I think peace can only come when humanity as a whole realises that absolute truth is an idealistic idea that is, at its' core, unrealistic.

Even when it comes to my own personal perceptions - the opinion I am putting forward here is not the truth. It is MY truth.
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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by Heddwen » 28 Sep 2010, 17:14

Aha! the earth isn't flat,then :grin:

Fascinating stuff. I've read about different alchemical processes over the years. Some pertaining to our alchemical integration with Nature and the Elements. Others reference the bonding and fertilisation between the divine male and divine female at Beltaine on the wheel of the year.

As I'm just completing the Bardic grade (after a few years break) I guess that all will be revealed in due course :wink: I'm looking forward to the next step along the journey.

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by Fox of the Oaks » 28 Sep 2010, 23:49

Yeah the question of 'absolute truth' lingers on...?

There seems to be something going on... we exist, we experience a reality, new things come our way each day etc. etc. As to what that Absolute is, I'm still exploring... I am content to call it The Great Mystery.

Yet personal opinions, and the knowledge a person has and acts upon still effect our world, so while acknowledging the greater question-mark, I aim for pragmatic results.

Regarding Alchemy, I think it has many various forms and approaches, and is quite a flexible system - found all around the round world and having traditions in many ancient cultures, which makes it a rather interesting part of our global heritage.

Regarding the Earth being once thought of as flat, I wonder... Most people think time is linear, yet Nature would have us think otherwise... :thinking:

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by Heddwen » 13 Oct 2010, 11:19

The Great Mystery, I like that. With regards to 'balance' I was wondering whether it is natural to go out of balance whilst trying to remain in balance, if that makes sense. As I see it, we walk a cyclical path, honouring the seasons and moving through the wheel of the year. Each seasonal celebration brings its own gifts. It's a point that we pass through. Some of these points are out of balance such as the two solstices, there is more dark than light and vice versa. As I see it we need to go into these experiences to fully embrace them, it means going out of balance in this sense, in order to get a fuller understanding of that point on the wheel. Of course I agree that whilst we do this we try and maintain a personal balance and relationship with Nature, treading lightly upon the Earth and doing practical things like recycling and gardening etc.

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by wolf560 » 13 Oct 2010, 21:51

Heddwen wrote: With regards to 'balance' I was wondering whether it is natural to go out of balance whilst trying to remain in balance, if that makes sense.

Agreed... I think that the pendulum swings as far as it needs to in order to restore balance.
Like a spinning top, it may sway to one side but will then sway to the other afterwards.

The real trick is ensuring (somehow) the spinning top never strikes the ground or loses balance entirely. Some things (I believe) are naturally occurring instances of "Nature in Balance", other things are our responsibility to "balance out on our own".
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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by Fox of the Oaks » 14 Oct 2010, 00:14

Perhaps trees can teach us something about balance, as has been said many a time before.
They dig roots, to keep them balanced.
They withstand the elements and seasons, the light and dark, which if they survive often seems to make them stronger.
They spread out their branches (according to their environment, species, and unique form), with also is a kind of balance, with their 'underworld' part, and also with their environment - because they provide fresh air, fruit, moisture and so on - they are living in balance.
It's can be simple, the concept of balance, but it also has many facets and factors.
Like you say wolf560, it seems balance is part up to us, and part up to Nature.

If balance is like a spinning top, there is point where it can get too slow, and starts to wobble, so we need then to speed it up or else it will fall over - likewise, it would seem things like sickness, or relationship troubles or other problems in life are an indication of this wobble, and can potentially collapse if we don't seek to adjust things (or allow Nature to aid us). The wobble could be seen as a kind of warning sign - yet on another level wobble and chaos are part of Nature finding another kind of balance, so it would seem some wisdom is needed in each situation.
Balance between the human (civilised) 'world' and the natural (wild) 'world' seems a big one! When in balance, they are the same 'world' - Earth in all her splendour!

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by Frog » 14 Oct 2010, 12:30

Just a curved ball thought here...

As scientists, we pull at things until we can understand them on a macro level. It's not unlike a Chocolate Egg Hunt for children. However, when all the children are running round and having problems finding those well-hidden eggs, sometimes adults have been known to secretly move or add eggs to help the children "find" things.
So with that analogy, it could be that spirits, guardians, gods (or flying spaghetti monsters)
are giving us gifts and we're saying "hey look, it does this! That proves that nothing exists!"

Just my opinion.
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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by Fox of the Oaks » 14 Oct 2010, 22:39

Yes it may be that truth is indeed stranger than fiction - but usually things seem mostly ordinary.

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by Corwen » 15 Oct 2010, 10:43

serenarian wrote:After reading the thread and thinking about the question, I'm not sure there is such thing as truth. At least, not in the sense of 'absolute' truth. We as humans perceive the world in a certain way, and maybe we all have ideas, perceptions and beliefs that 'ring true' for us, but in the larger scheme of things I don't believe there is just one truth.

Humanity as a whole has become obsessed with this idea of truth. Wars are being fought over it. I think peace can only come when humanity as a whole realises that absolute truth is an idealistic idea that is, at its' core, unrealistic.

Even when it comes to my own personal perceptions - the opinion I am putting forward here is not the truth. It is MY truth.
I have to disagree, there is a truth, the world is only a single way and although we may have different perceptions of some things our senses and minds are to blame rather than the world as there is only a single reality.

The problems start when people use cultural constructs to interpret the world they see, rather than directly experiencing it. We also have a tendency to take one off experiences and build whole structures of thought around them, and then use those structures to interpret other things, rather than just accepting experience as it is without building thought constructions around it.
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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by wolf560 » 15 Oct 2010, 18:01

Exactly...

The story I remember is the blind sages trying to determine what they were feeling
One felt the trunk "Oh it is a mighty snake"
One felt the legs "Oh it is a mighty tree"
One felt the ears "Oh it is a mighty fan"
One felt the tail "Oh it is a mighty rope"


The "Real Truth" was that they were feeling an Elephant ...
Their perceptions did not change reality, no matter what... it's still an Elephant

The question I suppose is how do you "Show" the blind sages what "Reality" is without crushing both their perceptions and their pride in what they think they know?
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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by DJ Droood » 15 Oct 2010, 19:11

wolf560 wrote:The question I suppose is how do you "Show" the blind sages what "Reality" is without crushing both their perceptions and their pride in what they think they know?

I say let them grope around in the dark, until they want to pass laws making the rest of us wear blinders too.
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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by wolf560 » 15 Oct 2010, 20:47

DJ Droood wrote:I say let them grope around in the dark...
LOL..!!!!

I think I will have to peek before I touch anything.... :whistle:
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Re: Truth and Opinion

Post by Fox of the Oaks » 15 Oct 2010, 23:30

The question I suppose is how do you "Show" the blind sages what "Reality" is without crushing both their perceptions and their pride in what they think they know?
and how do we 'show' them what 'reality' is when we are just one tiny part of it.

I agree, let them wander in darkness if they are not ready, till they work it out themselves; but it gets complicated when they are causing all manner of pain to others because their portion of the elephant is the whole (or most convenient) 'truth' in their opinion.

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