Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


Tell Me The Truth

Andretti Winery, Oak Knoll Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

October 4, 2011



 "The truth believed is a lie."  ... 
"All we want are the facts, ma'am." ... Detective Sergeant Joe Friday
This essay, Tell Me The Truth, is the fifth in the sextology Truth:
  1. Used By The Truth
  2. Not Truth / Truth
  3. Moment Of Truth
  4. Nobody's Doing It To You Except Yourself: A Study In Truth
  5. Tell Me The Truth
  6. Authentic Truth: The Coca Cola Animals  Incident, And More
in that order.



Werner Erhard's carefully measured understatement "The truth believed is a lie" has been debated, argued, dissected, analyzed, studied, talked about, considered, deliberated, hashed out, discussed, discoursed, examined, meditated, pondered, contemplated, mused, reflected, mulled over, speculated, ruminated, and looked at many different ways. Or, said more usefully, it's been looked through  ... many different ways - in much the same way as a microscope is looked through, to see something just out of view.

If I were to write an essay titled simply The Truth, I'd fill a page with the words "The truth believed is a lie ... the truth believed is a lie ... the truth believed is a lie" ... over and over and over again, and then I'd post it to the internet. That would be it. That would be the entire essay. That says it all. There's nothing more pragmatic which can be said about the truth.




Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More



The Truth

Andretti Winery, Oak Knoll Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

October 4, 2011


The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie. The truth believed is a lie.



Communication Promise E-Mail | Home

© Laurence Platt - 2011 through 2016 Permission
If the truth believed is a lie, then what about telling  the truth? What is it to tell the truth?

To tell the truth is to say the way things are, and the way things aren't. To tell the truth is also to say what happened. And when I say "To tell the truth is also to say what happened", I'm saying all we want are the facts, ma'am (as Detective Sergeant Joe Friday may have said), just the facts. Everything else is commentary.

What I believe  about the truth is just commentary. Whatever opinion  I have about the truth is just commentary. Whether I disagree  with or agree  with the truth is just commentary. Whether I dislike  or like  the truth is just commentary. Whether I think the truth is unfair  or fair  is just commentary.

To tell the truth is to say what's so  with nothing added, with nothing taken away, with no background soundtrack commentary, with no belief, with no opinion, with no disagreement or agreement, with no leaning to what I don't like or like or what I think is unfair or fair.

I can't use telling the truth to be right - and believe me, I've tried. Telling the truth to be right is the deadliest distraction  there is to telling the truth. Telling the truth to be right reduces the truth to belief. Telling the truth to be right reduces the truth to righteousness. The annals of history are strewn with attempts to reduce the truth to belief and the righteousness of belief. In so doing, incredibly decent, erudite religions and other instruments of peace have turned themselves into war mongering automatons - both literally and figuratively.

<aside>

If you'd like a definition of "having totally lost the plot"  or of "being unclear on the concept", it's this:

- when incredibly decent, erudite religions and other instruments of peace have turned themselves into war mongering automatons in order to be right about their belief in the truth.

<un-aside>

But the truth doesn't mean anything. You don't believe  the truth. The truth is just what's so.

When I look at what it takes for me to tell the truth, I notice it's not possible for me to tell the truth. Here's what I mean by this:

The closest I can get to telling the truth is to say what's so, without adding any meaning or interpretation of my own. The truth as what's so is an experience. The truth as what's so is an experience prior to  belief. The truth as what's so is an experience prior to  commentary. The truth as what's so is an experience prior to  agreement. The truth as what's so is an experience prior to  fairness. The truth is the experience of what's so ... NOW  ... NOW  ... NOW.

But here's the rub: once I tell the truth, as soon as  I tell the truth, in that instant it's no longer what's so ... NOW  ... NOW  ... NOW. It's what was  so. It's no longer what's happening ... NOW  ... NOW  ... NOW. It's what happened  - past tense.

It goeswith  (as Alan Watts may have said) the territory of being human, that my experience of the truth immediately devolves into the past  as soon as I start telling the truth (as Werner Erhard may have said).

So the truth believed is a lie, and the closest I can get to telling the truth is to describe what's so or what happened  as accurately as possible without adding any commentary, realizing all the while that what I'm describing is in the past and is therefore one degree away from the truth.

The truth is I can't tell the truth. The truth is I can get really close  to the truth by telling the truth unflinchingly, by unflinchingly saying what's so, by unflinchingly saying what happened, by unflinchingly saying just the facts, ma'am. But I can't get close enough to the truth to tell the truth completely, 100%. The truth is I can only know the truth for myself like an experience of the context I am  which is always available for me to be, 100%, but not for me to tell  completely. I'm authentic about not telling the truth completely.



Tell Me The Truth: The Last Word



Don't believe what I've written in Tell Me The Truth. Rather, try it on for size. If it fits, which is to say if it's useful, then keep it - it's yours. If it doesn't fit, then throw it away.

<aside>

You don't believe in a screwdriver. If you need one, you pick one up and you use it. And if it breaks you throw it away and get another one.

<un-aside>

Make Tell Me The Truth yours, or throw it away - it's your choice. But whatever  you do with it, please don't believe  it. If you do, you'll make me a liar.



Communication Promise E-Mail | Home

© Laurence Platt - 2011 through 2016 Permission