Friday, November 8, 2013

"Truth" as a Working Hypothesis


We might say that we have something of a working hypothesis for understanding the leading, guiding, prompting, and directing of the Authentic Self in our life, an ordered, patterned hypothesis that has certain “rules.” In the early stages of this development, this hypothesis is quite rudimentary and perhaps only the people closest to us can see real, substantive change in our lives. But as we continue to immerse ourselves into contexts, to observe, compare, contrast, and analyze, we come to see more and more clearly the work of the Authentic Self in our lives, and others do, too.

The core idea here is that at any point in time, our working hypothesis works for us in most contexts that we find ourselves, even if it is in many ways rudimentary. It is through the continual effort to continually learn, and evaluate that we succeed in fine-tuning that hypothesis. The reorienting of our hypothesis is important because it helps us mature and grow into a fuller capacity to both understand and to communicate our needs on a spiritual level. 


Remaining open and understanding that there is the potential in the universe that I don’t know everything there is to know allows room for growth, for such re-orderings when they become necessary. Unfortunately, this is not typical, especially with regard to spiritual beliefs. Rather, it appears that the common human practice is to settle upon a fixed set of ideals, beliefs, doctrines, dogmas, or teachings, and stick to them with the tenacious grip of a desperate man holding onto a half empty canteen in the desert.

Much has been hypothesized concerning the typical adult’s inability to acquire a foreign language without an accent and without interference from the languages he knows. The standing hypothesis on this is that children have some special ability to acquire language that gets lost somewhere between the ages of 14 and 20. There is no way to prove or disprove this hypothesis. 

Children seem to have a special ability to learn language, but is it not really just an openness and lack of limitation that allows them to learn unfettered?

I don't personally believe it's an ability that gets lost. The trouble with adults is that we very much like to settle upon what we believe is true, as if it is absolute, and resist any evidence that suggests that perhaps that collection of “facts” isn’t as true as we thought. There is an ossifying of the adult's mental capacities because they stop learning, often feeling they have learned all there is to learn. 

This is the pattern of behavior that you can easily observe in the world as first Copernicus, and then Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Heisenberg and beyond have discovered facts that have literally turned our ideas of what the universe is and how how it works on their heads, time and again, and each time with a great deal of resistance from every direction, most especially the religious institutions.  We don’t feel disdain as much as a level of pity for someone who can’t seem to understand that adjustments are needed to any working hypothesis, but would rather believe they have found the Truth.