Wednesday, December 01, 2004


The lofty goal.

The impossible goal.

How many artists through human history have claimed as their crusade the search for Truth? Too many. Show me Truth and I'll show you self-deception. This is not to say that there is not truth in this existence, for obviously it does, indeed, exist but I am highly suspect of anyone who claims to have found it in it's entirety. It's a tricky, slippery thing, truth...rarely pure, and never, ever simple (most especially the "pure and simple truth").

And yet it is the essence of our yearning as human beings. Honesty, no matter how hard to take, is still the cool cleansing balm of our lives. To be sure, most of us strive to stay free of deception. We try to avoid a lie as often as we can, but there are often questions to which there are no answers in our society.

"Does this make me look fat?"

"Why didn't you call?"

"Want to see my travel slides?"

"What are you thinking about?"

Our egos almost demand that others lie to us! I am guilty of at least a thousand white lies, and some lies that are not so white. I suspect this is true of anyone. I suppose the reason I am thinking about this so much is that I want to be as honest as I possibly can, in very situation I find myself in, but I lack the delicacy this requires. One can deliver a truth as gently as possible, and it can still cause hurt. Sometimes, not answering the question can be worse than saying anything at all.

If I'm giving the impression that I go about insulting people all day, I should mention that I rarely see much of anyone, shut up as I am in my studio.

This is one of the main reasons I have been dwelling on the topic. Being a painter is to be immersed in maya, illusion. As much as I have derided the idea above, I do try to find elements of truth as I work, and yet the delivery of these small insights is dependant on visual dishonesties.

Simply speaking, the better I weave an illusion, the more powerful my truth.

And I have been wondering how often this concept is to be found in human life.

"By their fruits ye shall know them"

So...sometimes...the fruit can be delicious - a delight - and yet be found growing from a tree that only pretends to be a tree. Are the trappings important, or should we look further inward to the roots? I know when something is good, because my heart responds.

This is not to be confused with the concept Emerson put forth so well,

"Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies."

It is not the beautiful lie of which I speak, but the beautiful truth surrounded by falsity.

I know I am being a bit vague, and perhaps what I am trying to say is terribly unclear, but I'm fairly confident that anyone with some experience under their belt has been able to follow me...


Anonymous said...

Maya feeds the eyes, but satya fulfills the soul. They are both all around us... only one is easier to consume and often far more palatable. Balance makes for a healthy diet!

Aaron Paquette said...

Yes, truth does fill the soul, doesn't it?

A quote (that may appear unrelated) comes immediately to mind:

"Infinite worlds appear and disappear in the vast expanse of my consciousness, like motes of dust dancing in a beam of light" - Vedanta

I'm not quite certain why my thoughts went to this saying, but perhaps it may have to do with your statement concerning balance. Maybe I was thinking about motes of dust floating through a room, and only those that pass within the light are visible, and yet this is enough to open up an entirely new level of thought, a new universe of possibility.

Maybe we can only take so much satya at a time...any more and we would be overwhelmed. We wouldn't have the beam of light to illuminate a smaller portion for our experience in order for us to spiritually and instinctively comprehend the larger.

However, to finish up on the idea of balance, that, of course, is the key. We need it so much. And we need to share what we can with others. Through thought, deed, and word, we really do have a responsibility to each other in this world. And to ourselves.