Endless Recursion

Published by Arun Isaac on

Tags: musing

Either you see it as the absolute infinity, where "the real truth" is infinite-dimensional and beyond one's comprehension. Or the infinity as in undefined, where something as "the real truth" does not exist.

You know how people never agree with each other and how there's always some sort of ideological clash. Each one considers oneself to be in sole possession of the right idea. The more tolerant would hold on to their idea but still be patient with others'.

It goes like the story of the blind men and the elephant. Each of the blind men feels a part of the elephant and say it feels like a snake (the trunk), a spear (the tusk), a wall (the side) and so on. In the end, they all disagree with one another and go on their own ways with their own perceptions of the elephant. Similarly each one has a perception of "the truth" and thinks oneself to be right.

Or another way to put it (my brother puts it this way), is to think of "the truth" as a circle. From one plane of projection, it is a line. From another, it is an ellipse and so on. But no one sees the whole picture and hence everyone is in disagreement.

Even the idea that God is one and that each religion just gives him a different form is an explanation for this problem of ideological clash.

I've been thinking about this for a long time now and I have a problem with all of them. All these ideas suggest that each person is bound to his own perception and always misses the "bigger picture" or the "real truth". They seem to imply that somehow the bigger picture can be constructed when everyone's point of view has been taken into consideration. My problem is that if someone were to put the various perceptions together and form some multidimensional image of "the truth", that multidimensional image would still be a perception. And like all perceptions, this multidimensional perception is but a perception and not "the real truth" in its entirety.

From this point, the discussion becomes a case of infinity. Either you see it as the absolute infinity, where "the real truth" is infinite-dimensional and beyond one's comprehension. Or the infinity as in undefined, where something as "the real truth" does not exist. I like to side with the latter.

But a word of caution from Mark Twain before we part: "All generalizations are false, including this one." :-)