Truth and Love Together
Inspired and created: Gary King
I submit that a good way to think about both of these moral values is to have them at right angles to each other: as independent characteristics of any behaviour or situation, as shown in Figure 1.
I think these two powerful moral values can be thought of as independent realities. You can have more or less Truth, say, about the speed of a runner, which need not have an element of Love; and you can have a lot of Love, say toward a pet, that may or may not have a lot of Truth associated (at least to other people).
In physics, there is the reality of a photon of light. It has been shown that it consists of an alternating electric and magnetic field, that moves at a constant speed across great distances. These fields are changing 180 degrees out of phase: when the magnetic field is strongest, the electric field is zero, but changing fast; and vice versa, as in Figure 2.
The two forms of energy, coupled, give a wonderful effect. Truth and Love, and two forms of moral energy, if you will, that together can give a great effect. Curiously, when Truth is changing fast, Love may be undefined or low, because of uncertainty, as in a relationship. When Love is maximal, Truth may be changing or low, as in an unhealthy relationship. But generally, reality is lived in the Truth and Love plane.
For example, in the case of the four moral attributes of a good person that my mother shared, Compassion ( C ) may require a lot of both Love and Truth in the form of understanding another person’s plight. Generosity ( G ) may be done with or without a lot of Truth: you could give money to a movement to make the world better in Love, or you could give a homeless person you don’t know a dollar. Humility ( H ) and Tolerance ( T ) might or might not involve a great deal of Truth or Love, depending on the context. No doubt greater philosophers than I can describe these four attributes with many degrees of Love or Truth ( or their opposites).
This plane might use a third axis. It could be time or space. Or, it might be an axis which does not have a physical presence. Maybe a third axis is God or a High Power. You could describe human endeavours as a mixture of Truth, Love, or the Divinity. Or, even if the third axis is time or space, you might believe that there is a divinity or higher power that moves events and things toward the upper right quadrant. So God could be a force, to make things more True or in greater Love. In that case, there may be a force in the opposite direction, called the Devil. I cannot dwell much on these matters, because I have few tools with which to investigate them. A force to develop greater Truth and more Love could be called, “TruLOVEth”, to coin a corny phrase. The opposite would be, “LiHATEes”. The ideal state of existence is when there is both maximal Truth and maximal Love, hence both of the moral values are optimised, or in-phase. When this happens, e.g., in an orgasm, life is grand.
THE REST OF EXISTENCE
To carry things to logical ends, I shall try to explain much of reality in several lists. There could be more, but here is a short effort.
A. Human Needs & Essentials (listed in approximate order of duration of life without them)
Truth and Love are involved in these necessities and their fulfillments constantly. A decent society will provide/ allow much of these for all citizens. For many people, religious activity, sharing and growth would make this list, and may be very high in the list. Nearly all societies have a concept of Divinity. Of course, many of them derived that from fear and natural disasters.
Relatively few people are Christian on this planet, and even they must admit that others might have differing and valid viewpoints about unseen things. Perhaps there needs to be a concept of the hereafter, although many atheists have lived good lives. Perhaps there needs to be a concept of family and origins. Perhaps there needs to be a concept of a Greater Power, an ultimate authority, a necessity for yielding our actions to principles that we do not fully understand, but which are good for us. This means a restraint on us. Item J above is a hint of this. I think that Truth and Love are a Higher Power, and may be sufficient for living as a good person. But I am open to other ideas, other Truths, that may still be found.
Living as a “Good Person”: Nobilities and Vices
Therefore, how should we conduct ourselves to fulfil our promise to be good people? I will list behaviours, good and bad, that I think we can agree are what we struggle with daily, and have various degrees of success. As my mother might say, let us learn from our mistakes.
We have a sense of self. I suppose it is called the Ego. Each of our actions must be done under its watch. I believe that we will be happiest when we can act in Noble ways, and we will be unhappiest if we act in Ignoble ways, or have vices. This also applies not only to our outward actions, but also to our inward thoughts and intentions. The Dalai Lama said, to be happy, show compassion to all, and do not harbor hate.
These two lists are paired. If we think about our past and present actions, and factor in Love and Truth, we stand a chance to make good decisions and to impact our own life and those of others in the best way possible. I wish you every possible success.
Sweet wishes to you my dear reader.
Comment your reactions and suggestions for my next article.
I'd be willing to talk about it.
Sending my warmest hugs straight to you.