Posted on August 28, 2015
War Makes Things Strange
We at Truth AM have several friends who have lived or fought in warzones.
Our friends came away from these places not only with physical injuries, not only with psychological damage: they came home metaphysically othered from our reality.
The stories they bring back seem impossible to most. In one area objects beings seem to lose coherence, merging into one another. In another, aquatic creatures have gained the power of flight. There a even stories of an area where the idea of “scale” has slipped. Here you might wake with one of your feet shrunk down to just an inch wide; or with a capillary bursting out of your arm, suddenly several feet long.
Some believe that stories like these are simply due to stress, or attention-seekers. Others insist that they are a recent phenomena, possibly due to experimentation by the government, extraterrestrials, or both. But these stories are not new.
Take the classic song “Do Your Ears Hang Low”.
This song is not just fun childish non-sense, it refers to a very old folk story.
The story goes that a mother and her child hid for 8 days in a cellar from an invading army, and when they emerged, the child’s earlobes had grown long, wrapped around the mother’s shoulders. They moved to a new town, but were alienated. The mother forced the child to wear their hair long to hide their strangeness. Ultimately the child joined the army, where soldiers with long ears were common. The story ends with entire army disappearing. Some anthropologist take a literal interpretation: that the entire army flew up into the air, or possibly even into space. Others prefer to believe the stories references to “flying” to be simply metaphorical.
In this story, the tragedy is caused not by the literal length of the ears, but by the tension between the reality where long ears exist, and the reality where they do not.
I believe it is this force which causes the continuing disintegration of sense in our world. Many have noted that since the 50s, or perhaps more precisely, since the Great Tangle, our world has slipped into a “post-truth” state.
What if we suppose that the truth that appeared so solid in the 50s was a façade? That it was an attractive, but ineffective attempt to protect the young and innocent from a larger and more awesome world. “Ineffective” because the worlds beyond, being far more chaotic and complex, will inevitably swallow the smaller, simpler and therefor more fragile false reality.
Is what we’re seeing now, when our friends return to us with strange mouths on their palms begging for cheese, or feathers instead of hair, the universe exposing it’s true self?
Or perhaps, is it a gap between realities? Is our refusal to accept experiences that contradict our own as true, causing a third reality: one shaped purely by our shared confusion?