Truth lives at peace with facts
Facts war with truth
As an orderly
In an awe in compassing hospitality
Scurrying from one stat to the next
Drunk on 100% proof
And in all probability
Will perpetually pass attest
With no lack of patients
Preyer or medication
Buy balms around every corner
Wear all is qualm
Where residents may not be drug
Round after round
Caching bullet points
For the heeling of others
A pour trade for lush living
Many facts cannot pay
In a cosmos a-washed with excellence
As truth is tolled
Is not as good
As what fallows
Or even Quickens®
In know way pandering
That which they see
The whole in their soul
Wonting more than a void
This poem addresses a very common theme in my poetry, the relationship of scientific certainties and metaphysical realities: facts and truth. The relationship between our mind and our heart has a profound affect on how we order our lives and how we experience the world. Like facts and truth, the mind and heart are not contradictory, in the same way that science and religion (physics and metaphysics) are not contradictory; e.g., “Truth lives at peace with facts.” Nevertheless, conflicts arise dependent on our view of the whole (“The whole in their soul”). Metaphysics, a necessary element of spirituality, is a transcendent, awe-encompassing view of Truth. Physics, the world of facts, is also a necessary part of human reality, but a necessarily incomplete view of many truths/facts. Physics is the foundation of everyday living, providing a highly predictable platform for a coherent life, the rationale making life feasible. Metaphysics enlightens physics, shedding light on higher, more complete realities. Metaphysics imbues physics with meaning, the reason to live.
The fundamental problem that I see in modern life, especially Western civilization, is an undue fixation of “certain” aspects of reality, e.g., “Drunk on 100% proof.” This addiction to focusing only on the lesser robs us of meaning, in a barren self-fulfilling prophecy — which makes sense, it just sucks! I think that such a partially blinded view of reality is wrapped up in fear. Whether fear leads to such a worldview or such a worldview leads to fear is a which-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg type of argument. Regardless, they are self-reinforcing. So, why is such a worldview so popular? I suspect because the force of certainty is a great selling point in trying to come up with a comprehensive view of reality. If you are a certainty addict, the line you draw around reality is highly predictable, exactly parallel to that diaphanous line where our five senses stare into the nebulous abyss of metaphysics, the world of feral uncertainty and unpredictable freedom. This place of metaphysics is messy, at least at first glance; and many find it much easier to look away. The strangely beautiful thing is that the world of metaphysics is as highly ordered as the physical world, even more elegantly so! The crux of the issue is a willingness to venture beyond the comfortable certainty of reductionistic science, bringing things down to familiar level, where things are easily coherent.
The train to increasing scientific understanding certainly has many hubs, branches of science, but train stops typically end at the last station before metaphysics. And going beyond one’s station is scientific heresy. Nonetheless, such a limit is arbitrary. First, even in the most orthodox science, there are unprovable assumptions (see Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem or my crazy poem, Wading for Gödel). In short, the mathematician Gödel proved (yes, proved) that any mathematical or logical system will always have truths that lie outside the ability of that system to prove them. Second, from our assumptions, highly ordered worldviews mysteriously arise. This is true for both reductionistic science and metaphysics. Reductionist science makes the most fundamental mistake possible, violating its most orthodox — dare I say sacred — premise, by blindly accepting that it is assumptionless, the most blessed assumption, making scientists merry. Science can rightly test hypotheses, but not assumptions. Science cannot answer the question of where coherency comes from, or even whether coherency is better than coherency! I vote for coherency being better, but I can’t prove it! In fact, science cannot even speak to better or worse, only what is (at least at the time of the experiment), and with high probability: IF this happens, THEN that will follow. Even with science’s well accepted foundational assumption that coherence is better than coherence, the elaborate worldview which unfolds logically and through rigorous observation cannot account for meaning! It can catalog, categorize, compare and contrast the many ways that people behave within posited systems of meaning, but science must stand silent in declaring any one system Truth. This is the truth of Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem.
Unfortunately, this inherent limitation in logical systems brought to light by Gödel receives little appreciation. Plus, instead of going forward with this understanding, recognizing its implications for further advances, we continue down a proven illogical, scientifically heretical, path of some type of pseudo-logical imperialism. We must transcend this dead-end. There is not much surprise that the scientific revolution during the so-called enlightenment led to an atrophy of metaphysical literacy. Any pondering of anything metaphysical, let alone “God,” appears that it necessarily must be degraded. And we are left with an amputated worldview, reduced to science’s presumptuous and incomplete reach. Meaning escapes our grasp. Alienation grows. In fact, the imperialism of objectivity cannot account for subjectivity at all! In this bizarro world, you, as a subjective being, don’t even exist — or at least you shouldn’t exist! Is it any wonder we have created a world unfriendly to humans? At best you are just one more “thing” to deal with, and likely with your unpredictability, formerly known as freedom, you will find yourself less favored than inanimate things and virtual reality mimicking what we truly long for. The ancient alchemists’ scientific dream of led to goaled has been sorely unachieved. Without going the next step, embracing metaphysics, we are doomed, “Scurrying from one stat to the next.” For millennia, humans have asked and earnestly tried to answer the great questions of life. Taking on the tried and true methods of science — hypothesis generation and rigorous observation — schools of thought, competing theologies, and myriads of human experiments, have resulted in a rich body of metaphysical understanding converging on eternal truths endowing humanity with a wealth unfathomable by perhaps most post-Enlightenment worldviews that have been posited. Still, gaining from such wealth requires an entrepreneurial spirit.
God is the greatest balm to go off in history. God is the pinnacle of metaphysical ponderings and wanderings. Embracing our own subjectivity and the tantalizing possibility of other subjectivies, most commonly recognized as humans, and less well recognized as God, enriches our universe beyond measure. Exploring our inner life, our own subjectivity, with the same disciplined observation of science, yields new truths, beyond mere science. Exploring the subjective realities of others and how they resonate or react with us, opens progressively wider and deeper possibilities. Experiencing God can help center our subjective experiences around a unity in reality that transcends and transforms our being and functioning in the world. Of course, speaking about God is even far less productive than speaking about food and expecting delightful tastes and bodily nourishment. Nonetheless, human language, can be a launching point triggering hunger which presages satiation. Experiencing God is a new birth that is best communicated by our transformed lives. For me, trying to speak about experiences of God is the birth of poetry. For me, writing poetry is the mind and heart making love. Even then, the occasional offspring are less reliably joyful than the love-making.
As I like to say: life isn’t fair, it’s excellent! May you find wholeness and hospitality in your most excellent journey.