When You Look For Truth Do Not
When You Look For Truth, Do Not Use Your Eyes, But Look Inside Yourself, For Their Lies Truth Essay, Research Paper
“When you look for truth, do not use your eyes, but look inside yourself, for their lies truth.”
Discuss this advice from the point of view of the scientist and the artist, and from your own personal experience.
Throughout our life, we are often given advice from countless numbers of people and organizations such as friends, relatives, co-workers, governments, and businesses. The advice which they give us can be anything. Some examples are, “You should see this movie. The special effects are great!” and “I think that it would be wise if you put some of your money into the bank instead of spending all of it.” The implementation of advice like this, even though it might affect our lives in some way, does not dramatically alter who we are.
There are however some pieces of advice that can change much more than what we do. These ones challenge us to look at ourselves and at our world in a new or different way. One such piece of advice is the following: “When you look for truth, do not use your eyes, but look inside yourself, for there lies truth.” This statement has the possibility of changing ones view of the world, affecting what one considers to be truth and knowledge, and how they are acquired. There are, obviously, different opinions about this advice, and during the course of this essay I will discuss it from the point of view of the scientist, from the point of view of the artist, and from my personal experiences..
Scientists are those who investigate the world in which we live. They question it, investigate it, and analyze it the hope of understanding more about it and how it works. To the scientist, truth is reality. It is summed up in a statement or a series of statements that accurately describe and explain some aspect of the world. However, the statement is not one that comes from somebody’s mind and nowhere else and is instantly truth. The scientist might propose something that could be the truth. The statement must be supported by evidence, and it must hold true investigation after investigation, experiment after experiment. Scientists in all disciplines ask a question, propose a solution, investigate it, and see if it what they propose holds.
One might say now, “Since a scientist proposes a solution to a question, and that proposal might be true, doesn’t the truth really come from within?” For the scientist, truth does not come from within. He proposes something, an idea. He does not know if it is true or not. It is a guess. The truth only becomes truly evident when that idea has been verified time and again. The truth is out there, the scientist just has to find it. The proposal is a step on the path to finding the truth.
It should be noted that scientists need not propose a solution. Many people, over the years, have wondered what the speed of light was. Galileo, Romer, Huygens, Foucault, and Michelson all devised experiments for measuring the speed of light. They did not initially have predictions as to what it might be. All they knew was that is was fast. They all found values, and as measuring technology and experiments became more advanced, the numbers that were produced got closer and closer together. We now know that the speed of light is around 3.00 x 10^8 m/s. We did not have an initial guess, but we now know the truth.
It should also be noted that scientific truth changes over time. As methods and technologies develop, we can examine our world with more detail and accuracy. The atom is a case in point. Dalton’s theory was that matter was made up of billiard ball-like particles called atoms. Later, it was found that atoms were made up of even smaller particles called electrons, protons, and neutrons. Today, we have discovered even smaller particles that make up electrons, protons, and neutrons. The truth today is not what it was in Dalton’s time.
So, for a scientist, truth is reality. It is uncovered by examining the world. It does not come from within.
On the other side of the coin, there is the artist. Artists express their feelings, thoughts, and emotions through many different media including, but not limited to, prose, poetry, music, painting, drawing, and acting. Truth for them is something internal. It is a persons beliefs, attitudes, emotions, feelings, abilities, inclinations, and such. For the artist, truth might also be what they see and hear, but is not like view of the scientist. What they see and hear becomes internalized, filtered and retouched by everything inside of them. Everybody has their own truths.
“…look inside yourself…” is what the artist does. As mentioned, everything lies within the person. A person absorbs the world and interacts with it. Often they go about their business and just live. They do not know, however, who they truly are because they do not look inside of themselves. The artist digs deep inside, seeing his beliefs, thoughts, and examines the world. He then expresses them through whatever medium he is proficient in. Through this examination and externalization, the artist learns about himself.
In jazz, when a person solos, they express their emotions and such. They must dig deep within themselves to find what to express. In this process, they learn about themselves. They see the truth, who they really are.
Painting is another example. Like music, when somebody paints, they look within themselves. They paint what they find. They see their truths.
The artist does not agree with the scientists view that truth is reality. Again, truth lies within oneself. Reality can never truly be known because we can not see the most minute of things, we can make mistakes when observing and when creating methods for experimentation etc. Reality can be colored by our beliefs, thoughts, etc., so reality, unbiased, can never be seen. The truth as scientists see it, can never be truly known. Truth to artists is what is inside of you, and the external world internalized.
As for myself, I have to both agree and disagree with this advice. I am a musician. I compose music, and I play music on various instruments. When I compose, I can not simply put notes down on a piece of paper. Sometimes, when I write music, I compose a melody that runs parallel to the mood that I am in. As I work with the music, I move through myself, exploring the feeling that within my, moving with it, following it to places inside of me where I have never been or have locked away. While writing, I learn about how I am truly feeling. Other times when I compose music and sometimes when I improvise, a rhythm will intrigue me. Following the rhythm like I follow melody, I can explore aspects of myself. After I started playing the didjeridu, an instrument of Australian origin, I found that I am a rhythmic person. Didjeridu music is often rhythmic and as I played an aspect of myself that I don’t think that I had seen before emerged. I found enjoy making up rhythms, playing with them, and developing them.
I must say, though, that truth is more than what is inside of us. Having been conditioned at school by many science classes, I also support the scientists view that reality is truth, that it is external to our souls. Because of my artist side, I believe that our perception of reality is colored by what is inside of us, but when it comes to examining things, it is hard to not see the truth because other people with different things inside of them see the same thing. Often the truth is there, saying, “Here I am.” and it is hard to not believe it.
To me, having the scientists view of truth is vital since we learn about our world and how it works. We must also have the artists view that truth is within in us so that we may explore and learn about ourselves, and so that we may see the world in ways other than the scientist. Knowledge gained from within ourselves coupled with knowledge learn from observation and experiment gives us a larger, broader view of ourselves and the world.