The Reality of Fog
Fog is like the illusion of reality. There are things that exist but are just out of site.
As I was driving in fog recently, I was suddenly struck with the feeling of isolation as I could only see about 100 feet in any direction around my car. Every so often I would meet a car going the opposite way, that didn’t exist a few seconds earlier. This was even more prevalent with drivers who chose not to turn on their lights whose vehicle’s would seemingly pop out of nowhere.
This observation started me thinking about the nature of perception and our reality and it reminded me of a recent trip I took to Peru with my friend Andrew. We were standing in one of the airport corridors trying to determine which direction we needed to go to find our gate “D6”. As we both looked down the hall toward some signage, I saw the sign hanging from the ceiling that stated gates D11 – D15 were down that particular direction and when I said to my friend that we needed to go the other direction, he gave me a quizzical look and said, no we need to go the direction of the sign that had our gate number on it. It turned out that even though we were standing only a foot apart, from my perspective I saw one sign, but not the one he was seeing. Nor did he see the sign I was seeing (even though they were in the same direction of the same hallway). It was all a matter of perspective because of where we were standing and the difference in our heights. We both saw the “truth”, but we just saw different aspects of the truth.
This observation can be related to so many aspects of life ranging from the economy, to the state of the world, to relationships, to religion, to war, etc. Each of us has a historical life-time of experiences and influences from our environment that we use as a comparison for constructing our everyday realities. These “perspectives on the truth” are at the very core of everything you know. We become so convinced that our perspectives are the only obvious truth and that everyone should know or see this truth the same way as you do. We are so entrenched in our truths that we are willing to kill for it or to even die for it.
The real truth is that there isn’t any one superior or all encompassing truth and we need to keep reminding ourselves of this each time we think we know what we are saying, seeing or doing. Especially when it doesn’t agree with or match up with what someone else is saying, seeing or doing. Like my friend and me, we needed to take a moment and say to each other, wait a minute, can you show me what you are seeing, because I’m not seeing what you are seeing. I didn’t take much for me to move over and stoop down to see a completely different view of the same hallway and the sign to our gate. Seeing the other perspective doesn’t mean that either of us were wrong, we just saw different versions of the same truth.
Like driving in a fog when you see your whole world around you, just wait a moment or move just a little bit and you may see it completely different than before.