on Uncertainty

Are you aware that men almost never make eye contact with each other, unless they are in a social setting?

Why not?

Well, to us men it is simply way too overt an aggressive act as direct eye contact between men is an outright challenge.

This is one of my longer and more penetrating posts, however if you have the time please struggle on through.

Are the above statements my opinion, or are they verifiable facts?  They are neither, they’re assertions of something I believe is self-evident.  That is what my blog, my tweets, and my book[s] are about.  They are about Truths as I see them.  Contrary truths, truths others might not see, yet they are all truths to me –  like the tag line of my website says, what I offer is “Another View, of True ©“.  Although it seems to contradict my previous sentence, something interesting about truth is how for something to be true it must be true for everyone, everywhere, all the time.  Doesn’t that mean Truth can’t be contradictory?  No, it doesn’t mean that at all.  It means that truth is modified by perception.  Something else about truth is that it must still be perceived to be true when investigated with an open heart and mind.  I’m going to try and do that, but first let me set context by using an excerpt from the second book in my work, “Malmaxa“. What is Malmaxa? Its an obscure tome in a genre that doesn’t exist, a genre I have labeled Philosophy, couched as Fantasy.

Ryntam immediately countered, “Many listen, few hear, and even less understand.  The truth in this matter… discern it.”
Jalgar noted the imperative in his child’s voice and smiled.  A heartbeat and a pace before he spoke, “You ask that I discern the truth in the matter of the Chundrah.  I shall attempt it.”
Ryntam knew full well she had demanded, not asked.  She glanced at her father.  The levity of his tone fortified his words, which clearly showed he would not bow to her simply because of her blue Chukrah.
Jalgar spoke unhurriedly, “To the Elder, the Chundrah is heavy.  To you, it is light.”  He deliberately rephrased her words, ensuring she knew he grasped their meaning.  After a pause for emphasis he continued, “These truths expose a quandary.  How can two things seemingly opposite, both be truth?  Is truth not absolute?”
Thoroughly enjoying her father’s reasoning, Ryntam pursed her lips as she nodded slowly.  In consideration, not in agreement…
Jalgar continued in the same measured tone, “Can there be only a single truth in this matter?  If so… is one perception a lie?”
Ryntam chuckled in delight before nodding to acknowledge he had fulfilled her request.  After a few paces, she murmured, “Perception, indeed.  Perception modifies truth.”  Another quiet chuckle, “Yet there is another matter which troubles me, Father.  We agree that to the Elder, the Chundrah is heavy.”
Jalgar agreed, “Yes, that is the Elder’s truth.”

Now, back to the investigation of my opening assertion.

We should never take anything at face value, and we should never take anything for granted.  This is especially true of the things we are not permitted to question.  After all, if something cannot withstand even rudimentary questioning then it simply cannot be true.

I asserted that men almost never make eye contact with each other, unless they are in a social setting.  If you question this, which you should, then verify it by watching the behavior of men outside a social setting.  How often do you see two men who don’t know each other look directly at each other?

Women will find this exercise easy.  Men won’t.  If you’re a man, I think you’ll find it quite difficult since it entails you being covertly aggressive toward men you don’t know – men who will be aggressive toward you if they notice you’re watching them.  Of course the ultimate, though extremely foolhardy test of voracity for men would be to actually do it yourself.  How?  Walk down a street in which you don’t know anyone and stare at every man you see.  Actually… don’t do it.  Why?  Because whether verbally, physically, or by a third party, you will be assaulted – but you men already knew that didn’t you?

Like so many truths we investigate, this brings us to another interesting question to ponder.  Why do men feel challenged when other men look at them?

Could it be a left over genetic prerogative from caveman days?  At first glance that seems like a reasonable assumption.  However cavemen wandered around in social groups, so the assertion doesn’t apply.  Did they attack and kill any other groups whose menfolk looked at them?  Though that is a romantic notion all too often promulgated by fantasy, I seriously doubt it.  Why?  Because if they had we wouldn’t exist today, we’d have died out from lack of genetic diversity. {Another assertion to question, but I’m afraid you’ll have to investigate it on your own :)}  However, I don’t doubt bloodshed ensued when a group of cavemen encountered another humanoid group they perceived as different from themselves.

And there it is…  Wait…?  What…?

Uncertainty of course!  We have a very powerful distrust of people we perceive to be different than ourselves.  Men, the defenders of their womenfolk from the attentions of other men, are much more prone to this uncertain distrust.  I’m very confident we’re hardwired to react aggressively to any perceived threat – like many other animals I think our instincts insist it is better to be safe than it is to be dead.  So we immediately prepare something I’d like to think of as heightened preemptive awareness.  Unfortunately this state is also pretty aggressive and pretty irrational, of which neither emotion is pretty at all.

Irrational people are easily manipulated.  {File that thought for later consideration.}

People who are distinguishably different make us uncertain.  When we are uncertain we feel unsure.  When we’re unsure we don’t feel safe.  When we don’t feel safe we feel afraid.  When we feel afraid we act irrationally.  When we act irrationally people get hurt.  We can’t help ourselves.   Please don’t accept any of this, question it all.  You deserve to discover your truths for yourself, and I believe the only way anyone ever manages that feat is by investigating and questioning everything – including and especially themselves.

We can’t help ourselves…  Did I say that?  Did you believe it?  I really hope you didn’t.  You see, the truth is that we can help ourselves.  Yes, we are genetically encoded to feel certain things in certain circumstances.  That is an inescapable fact sometimes referred to as a biological, or genetic imperative.  I believe one of those feelings causes uncertainty when we encounter something we don’t recognize, something like people who seem completely different to us.  But what I believe doesn’t matter.  What you believe matters.   But how do you know what to believe?  Easy.  By questioning until you’re completely satisfied you grasp the truth.

And the truth to me, is that we can help ourselves.  We can overcome our ingrained prejudices, regardless of whether their source is genetic, social, religious, cultural, national, or whatever.  We can overcome our uncertainty, along with everything that negative feeling leads to when left unfettered and uncontrolled.  However we can only do so if we’re willing to ask ourselves the hardest questions, and then keep on asking until we answer with our own personal and inescapable truth.  Until we answer, not until someone else gives us an answer.

What is the inescapable truth?  There isn’t one – there are many.   However the path to enlightenment begins with the first question to which we find our own personal and inescapable truth.

One of my inescapable truths is that although every human is unique, fundamentally we’re all the same.  We are all genetically compatible.  Any fertile, gender diverse pair of humans from anywhere across the entire Earth can mate and engender a child.  Try as hard as you like, for as long as you like – you will be unable to disprove this.  It is an inescapable truth.  We. Are. All. The. Same.  Surely there is more to humanity than mere genetics?  Of course there is, feelings and emotions are at the root of how how we define ourselves as “human”.  But that doesn’t matter – we’re still the same!  We all love, hope, hurt, and fear.  There isn’t one of us anywhere, any time, who doesn’t.

Unfortunately there are powerful people who profit from uncertainty, and it is precisely those people who control the media, the governments, and the corporations that treat people like commodities to be bought, used, exploited, sold, and discarded.  But for people to be controlled it is necessary to fill them with uncertainty, along with all the negative emotions uncertainty brings along as baggage.  I believe this is why those powerful people cast seeds of uncertainty through the constant assertion they are different from us!  Those power mongers lie.  There is no us versus them, there is only humanity and we are all the same.  Dig deep in your heart and you’ll find this is inescapably true – fundamentally, we’re all human.

The power mongers tell us we’re different to make us feel uncertain of who we truly are.

Oh, to be wise enough to know which parts of us are us, right down to our core, and which parts of us are built on patterns other draw…

Take away all the lies, misdirection, and hysteria and deep inside yourself you’ll find you’re human, just like all the rest of us.

When next you feel uncertain ask yourself if that is really you who feels afraid, or if fear is a feeling you’ve been taught to hold.  That man whose eyes you won’t meet, for fear he is different to you?  Look deep enough into our shared collective past and you’ll find your truths, and your truths will set you free.  One of my truths is that the man who I’m afraid to really look at is a brother from a long distant past, all I need do is care enough to recognize him.

Now let me leave you with these thoughts, and hopefully a lot of other questions to explore…

Enlightened people constantly struggle with ingrained distrust, while the unenlightened spare distrust not even a single thought.  I wonder into which category of person you think you fall?

About C.G.Ayling

Musing misuser of words, lover of lyrical literature, author, occasional contrary thoughts. An honorable man’s name, in memoriam.
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