Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Lemma Dilemma

It has often been the case
That something has proved true that
We can never directly

Experience, proved because
Knowledge of that truth
Has been used repeatedly

To predict and then
To manipulate
Our experience

In ways both unintended
And intended. But are there
Cases in which assumptions

Of a truth we can never
Directly experience
Should be considered

Irrelevant, not to say
False, because those assumptions
Can only play indirect

Roles in any successful
Predictions, no meaningful
Role at all in terms

Of altering our
Lived experience?
At what point do we concede

That our final arbiter
Of truth in that case,
As perhaps in every case,

Is whatever is
In experience,

Not our abstract assumptions,

Or mystical, however
Elegant, concise, robust?

We can say now that the Earth,
Actually, is an
Irregular sphere

That cycles around the sun,
Although our world feels to us
Like a disk sun traverses.

Can we say that time,
Actually, is eternal
Or directionless

Because equations
Show it to be so,
Show it must be so?

Can we say that death,
Actually, can be escaped
Because our faith tells us so,

Despite knowing time will kill
Each and every one of us
With one and the same arrow?

Should any theorem be
Called proved when incapable
Of intervention

In bodily existence?
What kind of truth could that be,
That, for life, could never be?

Perhaps experience is
Final arbiter of truth
For us, after all—

Whatever experience
Cannot be redirected
Is true; whatever

Conviction can’t accomplish
Any such redirection
In the end is not.

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