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The Nature of Knowledge

The notion of “Plain Sight” is complex. Perhaps you’ve seen videos to test your awareness, asking you to count the number of basketball passes made by one team. Show this video to friends asking them to perform this task.

Even if performed half-heartedly, the effort makes them miss bear moonwalking through the group of players.

You see what you are told to see. Humans have an amazing ability to filter sensory input. This is possibly why there was an argument by the United States founders about whether to include the words “We hold these truths to be self-evident”, because what should be “self-evident” easily become invisible.

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. John 3:18-19

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools…”, Romans 1:19–22(ESV)

Listing our ignorance will always create a longer list than listing what we know for sure. Here are a few things impossible to know:

  • How hard someone else’s life really is.
  • How good we have it ourselves.
  • What someone else is thinking.
  • What we ourselves are even thinking
  • What is God up to.
  • What my day will be like.
  • How someone else is feeling.
  • How I’m feeling.
  • What anyone truly wants, including myself.

“Knowledge” is hard to define. We 100% know something to be true until the time when we find out we were wrong. We can be foolish in the eyes of God and be extremely wise in the ways of the world. A Nobel Prize is not a guarantee that the research that prompted the award is error-free. A stamp of approval and seal of authenticity is only as good as the one who grants it.

Scroll through a news feed on any given day and let yourself wonder: If someone were making it all up, how would I know? The stuff that sneaks through the gatekeepers makes you wonder about it all. The lies are getting so bold you know they aren’t really “mistakes.” When you expose one falsehood in a source of “truth”, how do you know what else may be false?

  • News sites of every stripe allow falsehoods to be printed.
  • NASA videos are full of bubbles and green screen glitches.
  • Textbooks have known hoaxes taught as history and science.
  • “Peer Reviewed” journals have been shown to happily accept hoax papers and print them as a scholarly source.

Becoming Like a Child

The most amazing things I’ve ever come to know had to start with admitting I was wrong. I mean big wrong. I am over half a century old and look back and cringe at the number of people I talked into believing things that I know consider not only wrong, but heretical!

Around 2012, I went down a Rabbit hold theologically that made the Bible make more sense than it ever has before, but exposed most churches I’d ever attended as deeply in error. That was rough. But I was happy because I had found teachers who finally helped improve the coherence of my understanding of scripture.

2012 was pretty huge. But 2020, and 2021, will go down as a chapter in my life (And I think many American’s lives) where I truly learned how much not only I did not know, but how few sources of information I could trust. This has been a chapter in my life of “unlearning”. My faith in nearly ever institution went down in a flaming pile of rubble.

And maybe that’s not quite like a child, in that you tend to trust your authorities for the most part as a child. But it does bring you back to state of being where anything is still possible.

The Emancipation of the Mind

Let God be true and every man a liar. -Romans 3:4

I said in my ecstasy, “All men are liars!” Psalm 116:11

This second verse has the word “ecstasy” more commonly translated as “alarm”. Other translations though use words like “agitation” and the KJV says “haste”. I’m not sure how my Orthodox Study Bible got to “Ecstasy”, but I get the sentiment and I’ll tell you why. It’s because I finally experienced this moment for myself.

When deep down something everyone tells you is true—every teacher, textbook, pastor—doesn’t make sense. When it grates against your common sense but you accept it anyway, when you learn that they are all wrong? I don’t mean they were all knowingly lying. But when you find out your instincts were right and what didn’t make sense wasn’t true? There is nothing like that moment. At first you’re alarmed, surprised, but ecstatic at the same time! It’s a sentiment that belongs only to epiphanies like this.

Dismantling the World’s Authority

I experienced this for the first time when I was exposed to several things in succession. The first part of the list was something I think we all saw together in 2020:

  1. I watched people in lab coats argue with each other about “science”
  2. I learned if you wanted to back up an opinion with “science”, you would be able to find someone in a lab coat willing to do it.
  3. I watched “science” change it’s opinion almost on the daily.

This was the first step required to allow my mind to open up to some general truths:

  1. “Science” (which just means knowledge) is in flux.
  2. Science is not settled.
  3. People lie about what is true for the sake of power… a LOT.
  4. My Bible as well as my common sense turned out to be right in the end. (It is definitely not good for man to be alone and it is healthy to get outside and play and if every world leader agrees to something with no fighting, that should be a red flag.)
  5. The more Google censors something, the more important it probably is to know

Exiting The Matrix

Because I wanted to get news that was less censored, I found myself on alternative social media sites that allowed through some “dangerous” knowledge and I found some wild stuff. And I found an app that curated videos for me that Google was hiding. It’s amazing how impossible it is to find things if Google decides it doesn’t want you to. Go here for the daily video archive for an app that curates incredible content.:

  1. NASA lies… a lot. I mean a lot. Follow NASA on twitter so you can see how bad the videos are of their supposed adventures.
  2. NASA is in charge of more than I thought (GPS, Flight paths, etc.)
  3. We have no real pictures of outer space.
  4. We have no pictures of satellites not attached to a balloon.
  5. The pictures of our planet, the moon and other “planets” and stars are man-made and admitted by NASA to be so.
  6. We can see too far for there to be a curve.
  7. Astrolabes still work after thousands of years even though we supposedly live in an “expanding” universe.
  8. The military tried to blow up the firmament in the 50s and failed.
  9. The Bible talks about the shape of our cosmos a LOT and modern translations started covering it up because they thought NASA had proven the Bible wrong.

Finding Solid Ground

We have a limited horizon. What is right in front of our eyes, that we can touch and experience for ourselves is a very, very small world. It’s absolutely amazing when you think of how much you depend on others to know what you know.

The one source of wisdom outside of myself that has never been mistaken so far is God’s Word. When you start with three givens, your world starts to make incredible sense:

  1. God is True and his Word is eternal.
  2. People lie, and they lie a lot.
  3. There is a malevolent force in charge of this world actively trying to prove God a liar.

Jesus said the truth will set you free and also told us to become like a little child. To find the truth, it helps to expose the lies. When you expose you lies, it sort of takes you back to this wonderful state of childhood, where the world is full of wonder.

Sure Foundations: Best for Building and for Launching

It’s more exciting now that I don’t need “outer space” to kindle a sense of wonder. It’s enough to know:

  1. We don’t know what the stars are. Look up real magnified, moving pictures of them and you’re right back to “How I wonder what you are”.
  2. We don’t know what the moon is. It’s transparent for pity’s sake! Ever noticed that you can see blue sky through it when it’s not full? (And when it’s new, you can’t find it at all!)
  3. The deepest hole ever dug is in Russia and it’s only 8 miles deep. What is below 8 miles??
  4. Why is there an international treaty unbroken since the 60s banning travel below 60 degrees latitude?

Knowledge derived with a basis of lies will become twisted and corrupted. Truth breeds not only knowledge but wisdom is knowing perhaps that some things will remain mysteries and we should enjoy that too.

Learning how mistaken the world is is good news. The truth is always freeing and creates a mind not at war with itself and at war with God. The lies engrained by the Great Adversary into the World System are by nature to sow distrust in the God who actually loves us and to guide us into a state of despair. When you learn an alternative narrative exists, it’s the best day of your life!

Brave Enough to Teach?

Considering how easy it is to be mistaken, one can see why James warns we should not be eager to teach. When I think about how I’ve been wrong more often than right,it’s scary to even open my mouth to make an assertion.

I am not sure there is much use in a source of knowledge unless it serves to teach the truth of God’s word or expose the lies from the world. And we cannot keep our mouth shut because we are commanded to be our “brother’s keeper” and care about those who are in error.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

We are watchmen on the walls and we will be found guilty if we remain silent. There is no safe place really. This takes wisdom, clear-headedness, and gobs of God‘s grace. And if I am moving forth an error, I pray that like Balaam I will be sent a couple of walls and a stubborn donkey it’s a halt my progress.

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