Alternate Title: Cloud Atlas is one of my favorite movies, but I disagree with a certain spin on truth…
Truth is singular. Its ‘versions’ are mistruths.Sonmi-451, Cloud Atlas
[Part of the Narrative Collection.]
[Also, no, I won’t be discussing more about Cloud Atlas in this post. I just like when my alternate title hints at something else that got me thinking about the concept.]
Let’s acknowledge the obvious real quick.
If you’re familiar with my blog, then you know I’m basically an overthinker. I’m not here to convince anyone of anything.
I also (usually) don’t mean to attack or ostracize someone’s beliefs. So, if you do hold a counter view to this point… it’s your life, your perspective.
There’s a long-standing approach throughout many religious (and spiritual) sectors that drives me nuts. Basically, you take X supposed truth and claim it applies to everyone.
And this is routinely done about pure happiness, inner peace, and even “salvation.” So, if you don’t respect whatever rules of the supposed truth then you’re incapable of living a satisfying life. Or afterlife, if that exists.
Why do so many people take their beliefs and then insist that we’re all governed by that same exact “truth”?
[And yes, I’m aware of the potential irony about to unfold.]
What if some of us are just living on Earth with no consequences to be found afterwards?
Maybe for the religious and spiritual seekers, you’re free to create your own version of truth.
Or perhaps everything you do on Earth tallies up to an afterlife experience. [Like in The Good Place.] But, sometimes the Universe goes haywire and the system makes a mistake. So, you just end up as an anomaly to the structured path of existence.
Honestly though, is it that hard to believe that there’s genuine variations of the truth?
Objective truth vs subjective
[Reoccurring Thought: how bizarre is it that we chase objective answers to subjective issues?]
For the record, I’m aware that there’s an objective truth versus the subjective. I figure many people reading this are thinking along the lines of “whatever happens after you die will happen regardless. The objective truth will reign.” In other words, what you believe won’t matter unless it does determine what happens after death.
But, since we’re not all living life with a 100% certainty of what happens after death… couldn’t the objective ruling still be out? After all, who’s to say that any follow-up after death isn’t subjective? And couldn’t that define our objective reality?
If we were all naturally aware of a meaningful purpose in life then things would be different. Like, look at gravity. We’re all aware and impacted by it, regardless of how much we consciously know about it. But, there’s no ultimate acknowledgment of what follows death nor why the universe exists. And that’s partially why I find the idea of a singular truth so strange.
When I think about life as it is now and how humanity approaches it, I don’t see billions of people passing or failing to achieve some destiny or salvation. I see myself and many others trying to unravel and understand the absurdity called “life.”
Is that me offering a singular truth?
Almost. At the end of the day, I know that’s just my interpretation. Just like I know I could very well be wrong or that the laws of the universe might never be fully discovered by humanity.
Unique, but valid
To put it another way, imagine a video game. Every game has its own rules in which players must abide by. But, it’s still up to the player how to act under those rules. And the game subtly or even drastically changes as the player reacts.
You may ask: What does this have to do with singular truth?
Well, did you notice how vague my game analogy was? I did not state a specific game. Nor the rules or the number of players. Not even how to win. There’s a reason for that.
Whether or not you think a game is a suitable analogy for life, it’s obvious we’re all going through it believing and respecting different rules and possibilities. But well, what’s to say we’re not actually playing different games?
The way I see it, everyone has a different perspective. So, why should our lives’ (supposed) purpose or ending all coincide? Can we not all have unique truths to explore and build?
Maybe life is simply an open-world adventure. We share some rules like gravity and death. But, the rest? Concepts like karma and morality could be extra rules, although perhaps subjective and dependent on each person’s unique beliefs.
Meanwhile, the storyline is almost limitless in possibilities.
- Unreliable narrator?
- Faulty protagonist?
- Power couple?
- Switching genres?
- Unlocking multiple lives?
- Series of unfortunate events?
- Top-tier power of friendship?
They may all be options and valid truths.
And well, if it so happens that the rule of the universe is that our beliefs alter our version of reality or the afterlife or the next life…
Then there is no singular truth or purpose to life. The game just changes as we play.