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The truth about truisms

08/04/2017

Making up aphorisms is fun. I’m still not very good at it but I get how it works and can cook up a quick one that some will find palatable.

The trick is that everyone knows heaps of things they don’t talk about. Not to other people. Not to themselves. Of course I can’t know what those things are. They’re in other people’s heads, not mine. But I have lots of that sort of stuff too. Sometimes I learn to articulate it, sometimes I don’t. Whether I understand it or not, one thing I do understand is what it feels like to think that way. So I offer simple spells of ambiguous words that might summon up things the reader already knows and bind them for conscious consideration. By helping name them I help make them real. I don’t know what you think. You’re probably wiser than me anyway.

Am I creating them partly in my own image? Of course. Everything is in everything else’s image. I can’t help that.

It gets worse.

The best ore for aphorisms comes from the ambiguous borderlands between self and other; the jungles where dualism spawns. The easiest to unearth – the most dualistic – can be polished into shiny needles to pin you to your own insights, defining your borders and blogging you down in the front lines of your existence. Yeah, it’s ego again.

Words don’t capture what is. They split it into ‘is’ and ‘is not’. What you truly know will always escape words. But it can be nice get your mouth around a tasty lie.

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