[Ponderings] The Naked Truth
Updated: Feb 27
By Philip Suzara
Pondering… as I sit here at the edge of my mythical life pond.
One can see many things happening at the edge of life’s pond, as in any pond. Decisions are made there, life changing decisions, defining moments… to get in the pond, or not. The pond is encircled by its edges in different forms and kind: straight, jagged, rough, rocks, pebbles, sand, soil, or mud. Very much like people. No matter the differences we have, we all belong there… around the life pond, inside, outside, at the edge, but there.
I could very much see a lot of quiet activity around the pond, people moving about connecting with many other people – lots of talking going on, lots of things happening and it’s been quite a while -- and, oh yes, I must add, quietly.
This has been happening in our midst, unnoticed to most, but definitely raising eyebrows of a fewer than many observers. On the matter of Truths and Lies, we have been assaulted by the phenomenal and insidious machinations of trolls, troll farms, and the bolder revisionists upon the return of the erstwhile dictator’s family. We see them in action, or better yet, we feel the results of their actions.
On one hand, truth, to me, is that one valuable commodity that opens the doors of ignorance, binds society and people together. The truths you possess and embrace make up the character of your persona – it is what differentiates you from the others; it is also what will socially bind you with the others. The purveyor of truth unifies you with your kindred and you have probably experienced how naturally one gravitates towards another of kindred spirit.
On the other hand, the peddlers of lies just seek to destroy with their misdirection to achieve a deceptive goal. They will continue to dress up their lie as a truth and even revise or distort history to serve their interests.
Technology has always been seen as boon to society, it has been seen as the answer to our needs. One of the greatest and revolutionary inventions that have blessed us and the rest of the world with information is the Guttenberg Press – we were all ecstatic about it.
Imagine reading materials that had to be written and pressed individually would, by then, already be available, in multiple copies, “immediately”. Such was the contribution of the Guttenberg printing press with the Holy Bible as its first output. Such a boon it was to society with the Bible being available in great abundance.
This press has been a machine that had been perceived benevolently until some enterprising individuals and groups thought of churning out pornographic and smut materials from the same press and made good money along the way. Now, it is simply a machine that churns out multiple copies of reading materials. It still serves society, nonetheless.
Comes now the age of cyber information, with social media as its digital platform, we were so excited about being able to find and reconnect with old friends. Now, we can even talk to our friends face-to-face, at no cost, no matter the distance, and we can even conduct business and social meetings as we may deem necessary. This technology of Social Media is the new boon to society – to humanity, even.
This technology would have been great save for the malevolent individuals or groups who look at themselves as key operators who are able to manipulate, weave in, out, and around truths and then turn it around. They manage and manipulate the algorithms to pursue their malevolent and nefarious objectives; they are not your great communicators, they just seem to be -- but they are most definitely not. They are the new Joseph Goebbels in our midst; they are pure evil incarnate and they will have their day of reckoning with justice and their maker. I’m curious -- they will have quite a story to tell when audited of their talents!
The gatekeepers of truth should be found in each one of us. Let us call out lies when we are confronted with it, let us not pass on information that we do not know of nor that which we have not verified.
I will not be sharing a song this time to further my ponderings. I’d to share a fable woven around Lie and Truth written by John Van Zeist and inspired by a painting of Jean-Leon Gerome in 1896.
The Naked Truth
“The painting tells the story of when the Truth and the Lie met one day.
The Lie said to the Truth: "It's a marvelous day today"!
The Truth looked up to the skies and sighed,
for the day was really beautiful.
They spent a lot of time together,
ultimately arriving beside a well.
The Lie said to the Truth: "The water is very nice, let's take a bath together!"
The Truth, once again suspicious,
tested the water and discovered that it indeed was very nice.
They undressed and started bathing.
Suddenly, the Lie came out of the water,
put on the clothes of the Truth and ran away.
The furious Truth came out of the well and ran everywhere to find the Lie
and to get her clothes back.
The World, seeing the Truth naked,
turned its gaze away, with contempt and rage.
The poor Truth returned to the well and disappeared forever,
hiding therein, its shame.”
Since then, the Lie travels around the world, dressed as the Truth, satisfying the needs of society, because, the World, in any case, harbors no wish at all to meet the “Naked Truth”.
The expression refers to a widespread translation of an aphorism of the philosopher Democritus, “Of truth we know nothing, for truth is in a well (abyss).”
What might seem horrid for now, could be the truth that is waiting to be “exposed” and what “glitters” like gold, might be just a distortion of straightforwardness?
So, today, we are faced confronted with the – “naked truth?” or “lie dressed up as truth?” – It’s on us to discern and choose the path to righteousness!
Very thought provoking, indeed, on how we perceive the “Naked Truth” to be. The Truth need not hide in shame -- the power inside Truth is not defenceless.
The Truth is what will set us free!
Pondering, as I sit here at the edge of life’s pond.
Creature of God. Child of the Universe. Global Citizen. Lover of Life. Freedom Fighter. Agent of Change. Lone Wolf. Occasional Consultant for Strategic Communications.