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The Simple Truth.

by Tony Creech on Sunday, August 8, 2010

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Nothing, for me, is simple. (even that statement, upon the further reflection of typing this second one, is much too simple to be true, and it’s not.)  
It would seem simple enough to create an adage “if someone thinks something is simple, they are wrong”, though, how could such a thing be true in every context -when such few (if any) things are? That would also assume we could know every context. We already have an issue seeing correctly the contexts that we have looked at with scrutiny (we see them as far more simple then they are).  
Perhaps I’m using a rather complex bit of text to say simply that ‘everything is complex; even more complex then we now know.’  Choose something you know, really think on it, and you’ll soon see it as more complex then you thought it before, regardless of how complex you thought it before.  
There are manners of speaking, of course, wherein we include the concepts of simplicity and complexity, and, often, things can be said to be ‘simple’ in those relative circumstances. Take the idea of a problem on your computer: you can’t find a file. You search in every folder you can click on and you say “I can’t find that file”. This continues until a 12 year-old enters the scene and uses the handy search field and, like Apple Magic, the file is found. You say ‘wow’ and the 12 year-old says “it’s simple.” I know, such a terrible example, it could never happen to you, but that enhances the point- we think something is complex until we think we know it.  Even engineers -who study for years- cough out the words, when they are demonstrating some complex bit of arrangement to a colleague they are exacerbated with, saying “ it’s really very simple.”
And so it goes, from some odd clever person to another, in a wide cycle of one-ups-man-ships that we enjoy around the globe daily. But it’s quite a different thing, to know how to ‘simply talk to a girl’, than to understand the complexities of why this young specimen of the species Homo sapien [latin for ‘knowing’ or ‘wise’ ‘man’] seems to desire so strongly to talk to her at all (especially when he would be awfully unhappy if all he got to do was simply talk to her.)
I really do scratch my head weekly, as terribly simple and ignorant words fly from pulpits around the spinning earth… and simple people enjoy them.  I guess I just have too deep a sense of the paramount atrocity that conflating ideas reek upon civilization.  We live in an elaborately involved complex of realities (reality meaning a ‘realm of consciousness’). You are blind to the reality experienced on the other side of the globe, until the New York Times posts an article about it with photos that make you feel you get enough of a glimpse to open your mind to some other reality some other poor soul is living far away from you and your take on things.  The universe is a multiverse, and a complicated and labyrinthine one at that. You hardly can look closely at something you see every day, only to notice a tangled and bewildering existence that baffles the mind (at least my mind). This is why I hate pictures of human skin, where, all the land of small creatures it truly is, is exposed and in color. I like to believe that if you zoomed in on my skin, you’d simply see the smooth skin I see. Not the cracks of my lego-body much too closely resembling the lego building blocks of my monkey cousin, I hope isn’t as related to me as some apes claim. I’d rather pretend I’m not the universe to a host of living things -mostly inside me- and so I do, and I say “I’m simply me– take a look- do you see anything else here? No, of course you don’t, it’s just me, plain and simple.” 
There is no truth that is straightforward.  Even reading this sentence you are reading something completely different than I’m thinking as I type- and there is no way around it, italics of not. I know that there is a limited range of meaning, I’m only pointing out that the considering of such things is vastly convoluted, if not Byzantine.  Hence the misunderstandings, and why else would you be asking yourself what exactly the point of this particular arrangement of the alphabet is.  The point is that “ghsdjkdhakdhsad” is the only simple thing in existence. There is no such thing as “chaos.” The nano-second you label it with some simple word to pretend you understand it, you err  Chaos is better revealed in the agonizingly ordered stacks of baseball cards sitting in attics across america. Chaos is starting each sentence with a capital letter.  One reason I think so many people want to find a “God” is only to simplify the myriad of multifarious possibilities. How exceptionally annoyed I can be, when kindhearted folks attempt to placate my sprawling mental voyages by trying to moralize me into accepting ‘what is so simple.’  I will not feel guilty for not being as ignorant as the next guy, no matter how ignorant I’m doomed to be, in my limited cubicle of perception.  I don’t mind not being able peel back the curtain on the heavens, as much as being told that I am not allowed to look for the seams.
If the existential moment wasn’t a thorny, knotty, nexus lying outside the peripheral vision of the masses (obsessed with ignoring pictures of creatures on their skin) we might have less killing in the name of invisible creations, and no need to drink imported beer.  If, at midnight, I’m not so sure of the senseless (literally) things that no one is sure of, then, at midnight, I just may be that much more brilliantly honest. Or perhaps the great canvass, that this checkered and variegated reality is but a thread in, alludes me. Plus… I’m tired.
Tony Creech
anthony thomas creech is Founder of Citadel Magazine. He's a marketing executive, filmmaker, screenwriter, columnist, and university lecturer on film, audio, media, and faith. You can find him at thecreechleague.com

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