Imagine a solved Rubik’s Cube. You stand on one side, I on the other. We’re both looking at the Cube straight-on, so I can’t see what you see, you can’t see what I see. We have a different perspective even though we’re looking at the same object.
Subjectivity is truth. What you see is no less true despite the fact that I cannot verify what you see. The same goes for my side of the story.
The object we see, the Rubik’s Cube, is real, though we cannot see all of it. You and I cannot deny the existence of the Cube. There are objective properties in play here, despite that fact that we are not able to take all of them into account. At least, not by ourselves. You see, if we are both looking at the Cube straight-on, together we only see two of the six sides. But we can help each other out. We can double what we know by working together. You can describe to me what you see, and I can do the same for you. It’s an exchange that leaves both of us with more information.
The real descent to hell comes when each of us are given a perspective, a “side of the Cube” as it were, and choose to lie about or contort the truth. Telling you that I see a teal-colored side of a cube that could only be white, orange, blue, yellow, green, or red would be a misstep at best. While there are no stakes to this particular “cube problem”, one could easily imagine a similar situation with some. You and I stand back-to-back in enemy territory watching for hostile targets. To cry “enemies approach” when there are none or “all clear” when the tanks appear would indeed be “missing the target,” or in classical terms, a sin. You are obligated to to tell the truth. To not would bring about hell, making the world the barest tint darker. You do have that power.
Now, a Rubik’s Cube is very much a simplification of all Being. There’s only six sides and a handful of facts. Let’s step it up.
Imagine a giant puzzle with infinite pieces. Each person born in the world, past, present, and future has a piece. You can collect these pieces at little, sometimes no cost to their keepers to put them together and establish a more fully realized picture. Will you be able to see the whole puzzle in its completion? Not in this life. Should that deter you from seeking out knowledge and becoming wiser so that you can at least avoid making more stupid mistakes? By no means.
In the same way, you have a responsibility to yourself to learn from others. Seeking knowledge is a virtue, as is the humility to ask for it, which can only come from knowing that you are not what you could be. You also have a responsibility to share your own puzzle piece with others, giving them a larger view of the larger world. And as with other forms trading, both sides benefit.
But what do you do with this knowledge, this clearer, albeit incomplete picture of Reality? As teachers know, self-contained, self-referential knowledge difficult to remember, and worse, useless. Knowledge needs application. One more analogy.
Imagine a pen of light, one that can write in the sky. You can mark out your message by writing among the stars, like a giant Bat-Signal for the whole world to see. What would you write? If you accept that you are obligated to tell the truth, maybe a better question would be “What would you write to bring about the highest good?”
Maybe you’re thinking of some goofy or nefarious things you could do with this pen. Maybe you’re thinking that this pen in the hands of someone else could be dangerous. Maybe you’re thinking that even the existence such a pen would be problematic. Who could use such a thing?
The truth is that we all have a pen of light. All of us have manys means to deliver many messages. All we have to decide is what to do with the tools that are given us.
Your social media is your pen of light. Your blog is your pen of light. Your gaming sessions are your pens of light. How you do your job is your pen of light. Your very actions and attitudes from day to day are your pens of light. While you may not being “speaking” about your perspective, you are living it out. What are you saying?
You can change so much around you by being aware of your pens of light. You can bring joy to others and change their hearts. You do have that power.
So make, share, tell. Do what it is that brings about more light, not less. You do your part, I’ll do mine.
I’ll continue to tell you what I’m seeing right here on the blog.