Friday, March 18, 2011

Resonance and Truth-

Why do people become Republicans? Democrats? Christians? Buddhists? Why do they adopt particular affiliations associated with things (propositions, statements, ideas) considered to be true or even Truth?

Based on subjective experience and observation, I would contend it is largely resonance. A proposition just feels right. Granted, a portion of the population of humans will investigate propositions and make thought out decisions with regard to those propositions. Most, however, are the consequence of resonance.

Even the process of investigation can be (and probably mostly is) guided by this resonance. This alternative feels better than that alternative. Some might be associative. "My family has always been Republican Democrat Christian Buddhist Insert Your Own Thing Here." Some the consequence of extended hours of diligent comparison.

At some point, however, a decision has to be made. I would contend that resonance is the ultimate deciding factor. A lot of the study associated with this resonant choice becomes apologetics. "I am right and here is why" kind of study and argument.

When you think about it, thinking about it takes a lot of time. How many people have selected their political party through diligent and dispassionate study of all of the available literature? History, opinion pieces, analysis and dissection. How long would a truly exhaustive study of political parties take? Could one actually arrive at an unbiased conclusion and subsequent decision using this method?

How about religion? The complete and exhaustive study of one religion is more than a lifetime worth of work, much less every major religion and then consideration of the multitude of sects and sub-devisions. It might be possible, but I cannot see it being done. I doubt that it has been done.

Amazingly (but not surprisingly) people can be so intense in their beliefs as to die for them. More troublesome, they have throughout history been willing to kill for them. That is some serious resonance.

Discord is a consequence of incompatible resonances. Harmony is the joining together of various resonances in a manner that is appealing. The melding of truths can be discordant or harmonious, as well. Some of us like to believe that there is a conductor for this symphony that is the life experience. Others don't find that idea resonating in their own frequency. They fail to see it as truth.

It does take a degree of faith to believe that the conductor can incorporate the seeming discord into a larger harmony. Evidence often does imply the contrary. Some would argue that it proves the alternative, though I would contend that they have not examined enough evidence. They can't. They are too finite and the problem too large.

But that's alright. I choose to believe that their discord is part of a greater harmony. I don't really have any evidence. The idea just resonates with me. Oh, there are evidences that I also find compatibly resonant, and I will share them with others when opportunity arises. I don't expect to argue anyone into harmony, however.

Harmony is the job of the conductor.


Pliny-the-in-Between said...

Very interesting and true in many circumstances I suspect. That's one of the things I like about science. It often resonates very uncomfortably with pre-conceived comfort levels.

My own political journey has been an interesting one. I have not substantively changed my political views in a couple of decades. Following a straight path I was once considered a moderate Republican and usually voted that way. But the political tides shifted and I now find the same course lands me on the blue side of the fence.

mac said...

I like it.

Of course, no religion resonates with me.

Politically, I think I fall in the middle of the spectrum, with a slight bend to the left. I find good points on both sides, and really bad ideas on the ends of either.

Roaring Lion of Two Fisted Cool said...

Interesting thoughts here. I've often said similar things about art and music and literature, that really good stuff doesn't need to be explained or understood, it simply resonates with some deeper part of you.

In terms of belief structures, I think we as a scientific civilization, like to think we are ruled by reason. I know I used to believe that. But as I grow older, I feel more and more that reason is a tool of emotion rather than the other way around. We decide what we want: to feel; to have; to be. And use reason to construct the framework to achieve or justify that. I think this reasonance idea works with this. Something resonates with you, you like it, for whatever 'reason'. And you subsequently use your rational mind to strengthen and increase this resonance.

Now, this doesn't mean I believe in a conductor, I don't. But I do certainly believe there is another layer to consciousness that we haven't started to comprehend yet.

Jon said...

I think you're right - that "resonance is the ultimate deciding factor".

I suppose that in general we can 'reason' about how to best achieve a particular goal; but we don't usually 'reason' about which goal is worth achieving. The 'value' is based on a feeling, a resonance.

Great post!