experience = knowledge ≠ truth

All we can ever truly know is what we experience. Even observations become things that are done to us, but what about truth?

Truth largely escapes us because we cannot know and understand every potential factor of what was behind the experience. My cat cannot possibly have a full understanding of what motivates me to clip his claws, just that I tend to do it every week or so and I give him treats immediately after, so he puts up with it. To him, he may be putting together that this is to keep him tidy (he seems smart enough to figure out doorknobs open doors, and will tap them to command me to clear this obstruction from his ability to do his duties as a cat and explore and check shit out), or he may just think it’s some bizarre ritual I’ve concocted because I’m weird; my abilities to communicate this desire to keep him tidy directly to him are limited to what he can understand of my verbal and physical language (and cats are far more visual in their language abilities than verbal, this is 100% true, no matter how much your cat vocalises at you, he is vocalising more for your sake than his own), so I have a duty to keep the motion as smooth as possible — for his pleasure as well as my own — even though the truth of the situation may, indeed, be forever elusive to him.

We get hints of truths, but the whole truth of any situation tends, indeed, to forever evade us. Truth isn’t what one makes of it, necessarily, but it’s a folly to assume that one’s knowledge, especially if coming from admittedly limited sources, is ever sufficient to cast irrevocable judgement. There is always room for more experiences and more knowledge; to shut off oneself from potentially gaining further knowledge, no matter how seemingly small the area, is to betray one’s moral failing with regards to the topic of Truth. Hedonists, especially, have a moral obligation to keep the door open on Truths, be they of the physical or spiritual worlds.

Refusing knowledge serves only to create rough motions, pain, in one’s life. It serves Strife in the worst possible ways — not the side of the Goddess that challenges us, but the Eris Who furthers our hardships and suffering. Only accepting knowledge can break the cycle and truly serve Hedone and, ultimately, Eros.

“I am being purpled by this blanket.”

We may appear to be in agreement that the blanket appears purple, but what even is that? What in the world does that even mean? Is it the colour we think it is? If you’re ill, you may see it more as red than purple, and only agree with me because you believe you saw the same blanket before, and you cannot possibly know that I’m telling you the truth, but it makes sense to you to agree with me in the situation, for whatever your reasons may be. The reality is, you know you saw a purple blanket once before, and you know you see a reddish blanket now that bears an otherwise striking resemblance to the purple one, but even if it can be otherwise proved to you that it’s the same as the purple blanket you saw a week ago, from where you currently sit, this is merely a similar, but red, blanket — your immediate knowledge has changed the facts of this blanket, and they may change in the future, so the truth of the blanket will ultimately be elusive since now you know that one’s knowledge can change one’s perceptions of the truth.

To further complicate matters, I could point out that neither one of us could even really be seeing a blanket, this could very well be an illusion.

But the conundrum of the colour is still in need of address:

Even if we’re both healthy, we cannot be certain that we both see the same colour 100%, double-triple-quadruple checked certain that my purple is your purple is Frankie’s purple is The One True Ultimate Purple of This Blanket, so what is there to do? And if one sees a different colour, one may or may not be sick, one may just be colourblind. “Objective reality” does not exist in any meaningful way to mortals, because the tools used to observe this, our own senses, are themselves variables, and consensus on those observations from a group cannot be trusted because there is too much room for variance in intent of what we mean by what we say when we say “purple”, because the more people added to the committee, the more likely a variable in consensus will be hidden.

Do we thus offer complete honesty and risk the rough motion of an argument? This is not an issue for Hedonists, as the Hedonist will accept that there are potentially infinite variables that may alter one’s own or another’s perceptions. Outside of that scope, it’s harder to say.

Experiences are inevitable, and knowledge is an obligation a life lived for its pleasures, but truth, even at its best, is elusive.


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