Fear of Truth

by Michael Colantoni

It should be apparent that there is a fundamental truth in relation to Being.

Existence exists. Being is. Consciousness is conscious. These are the essential verities that underlie the field of ontology. All knowledge must eventually come back to these truths about being.

Yet we mostly do not ask ourselves what these truths mean with respect to our lives – how we should live, why we exist, who we are. There is a fear built into man that causes us to avoid such questions until the need to know is so great, the pain of existence is so extreme, that we demand answers lest we give up the struggle.

The very wise and erudite philosopher, Eponymous, once remarked:

“It is a strange fact about human beings that we are not more astonished and amazed by the fact of our own existence.”

Humans generally lack the ability to feel their own existence, their “beingness”. We are insensitive to the thrill of our own consciousness. It takes aeons of pain and suffering, it seems, to bring us from the thrall of the senses to the thrill of life itself. When it happens, I am told, the senses no longer play a significant part in our existence, and life itself takes over, invisibly and internally.

Mostly, we deny that there is any fundamental Truth with respect to existence – a source of Being and its manifestation in consciousness. We do not study experience – what it is, what it means, why it is as it is. We just feel the impacts of life rather than Life itself.

Eventually, I am also told, we will all come to the questions of life – who am I, why am I, where am I? I am also told that these questions do have answers. Surely, these are the questions that should occupy our time in this life.

Without asking these questions and dedicating our lives to the answers, we have no context or criteria for the mode in which we lead our lives. Then we are repeating the lives of others, as we have been told life is. But should not each of us find out for ourselves, first hand, what life is, who we are, and what is actually going on? Who are you to believe? Who found out, and why is their answer correct?

If we accept this, the story as told to us by another human that was here before us or claims a higher authority, we are the victims of sacerdotalism. Organised religions depend on our willingness to accept this. But why accept this? We must investigate our own stories. We must become interested in our own lives. We must become acutely aware of our existence – we are here, we are now, we are.

Time is a measure of opportunity. The opportunity is a life span. Time measures its passing. Surely, we can see that marching towards death with no purpose greater than this brief span is ludicrous. The very ridiculousness of such a proposition is the strongest argument for Truth. We must be able to see that the underlying fundamental of existence must be uncovered – else death is all we look forward to and daily life is just repetition and chaos.

Humans are given the ability to recognise the ludicrous and inane so that we might challenge our own assumptions. When challenged we will find that our assumptions collapse under the weight of their own improbability. Then we are free to explore and discover – to find out for ourselves. Then we begin to live our lives. We start to become conscious beings.