Australia / Sydney
2/06/2018 “ABSOLUTE TRUTH”
In Sydney, we decided to celebrate International Book Surfing Day with a conversation about Absolute Truth. Talia shared with us a beautiful card from her parents that helped us come to our first conclusion: absolute truths are subjective. The card states that peace means to be able to be calm in our own heart regardless of what’s happening around us, which made us realize our perspectives are biased on how we feel; when we have peace in our hearts everything around us seems peaceful, the same way that someone who is depressed would see everything around her depressing. Meditation is a great example of this, since when we meditate situations don’t actually change, however we feel and react to things very differently. This is why the best tool we have to create a better world is to just focus on being the best versions of ourselves.
Steve passionately read to us “Here Am I” by Anis Mojgani, a beautiful poem about the romance and contradictions of human life. A poem that both scares and inspires, and is such an accurate representation of what it means to be human that it soothes the mind as much as it lights it up with questions. It made us realize that being human means living in a balance of good and bad, of happy and sad, of black and white and all these things that we think are facts, but by themselves they don’t exist because they only become truths when they have an impact on us. To be alive means to question and doubt without losing courage, to dream and fail and to dream again. And to understand that the most absolute of truths is that the answers we are so franticly looking for, are nothing but the questions we are asking.
Galia questioned one of the most universally accepted absolute truths by mathematically proving that 2+2=1. In the book “Love and Mathematics”, Edward Frenkel uses this equation to explain the concept of Modulos. Very basically, we can use Modulos to group numbers and use them in ways that 2+2 may = 1, or even 7 (as long as you specify that you are using Modulo X). The fact that 2+2 has more than just one correct answer showed us the importance of context and that a truth is only true if we all accept it as true. It is essential to be able to accept certain things as absolute truths, but what we can learn from this equation is that we shouldn’t stop questioning, for all we know, anything can be proven wrong.
Unsure of what to bring to the Surf, Eva brought the most absolute of truths by stating that she didn’t know any absolute truth. She shared the confusion she felt for being at a stage in her life in which she has begun to question the things that she had always considered given facts, things that growing up she had learnt from parents and teachers, and now that she has been living by herself on the other side of the world she has begun to question these teachings. We agreed that this was a normal stage in life and even an essential one, since its when we start creating truths of our own. However, we wondered if we ever actually find any absolute truth or maybe, just like the only constant in life is change, the only absolute truth is that there is none.
Last, but certainly not least, Harry played us “We Almost Lost Detroit” by Gill Scott Heron. And shared how he believed that music was an expression of what an artist believed was the absolute truth at that moment. He talked to us about the artist and his struggles and by listening to his song we could feel and identify with him, even if what he went through might be completely different to what we have dealt with, we could all relate to the feeling of overcoming our obstacles. The fact that his music felt so authentic to us was why we perceived it as an absolute truth. We create art as a subjective expression of the true self, but when it is authentic it becomes a general truth for humankind. This made us realize, we are constantly creating absolute truths.