Concentric circles

There is no such thing as absolute truth. Truth is not something that is or isn’t. Rather, there are degrees of truth. Not only that, there are multiple truths. And there are infinite multiple degrees of infinite multiple truths.

My truest truth is what I know best; what I most understand. These are things that are closest to me; closet to my heart, most secure in my head. The farther away things are from me (in space, time, or scale), the less I understand. And the less qualified I am to analyze the signals that something or someone else sends out, the less I understand.

Some things seem really true to me. Other things — that I know a bit about or where I have doubts or where I am open to changing my mind — seem less true to me. And still other things, I haven’t got a clue about.

So my truths are less and less solid the farther and farther away I get from what I truly know. Like concentric circles.

We all have concentric circles of truth.

Not only that, we all have overlapping circles. Actually, we all have overlapping three-dimensional spheres, like bubbles. (OMG, when I first wrote the word “bubbles” I made a typo and it appeared on the page as “bibles.” Indeed, we all have overlapping bibles!) And actually, all our truth bubbles are constantly growing and shrinking and changing shape, as they overlap each other, and as we all move through time.

Truth is not a simple matter of yes or no, or black or white, or good or bad, or right or wrong. Truth is a rainbow of colors, a scale of music, a garden of flavors, a range of temperatures; all changing all the time and always different for every person and every thing in every place and time.

I cannot say what is true for anyone, anywhere, at anytime. I can only say my truth, here, and now. And my truth gets more and more blurry into the distance.

In many respects, this website and my Theory of Relative Understanding is my truth, and it is a fine example of concentric circles.

I know a lot about human interactions. That’s what I most understand. I’m a professional meeting facilitator. My company is called Good Group Decisions. I have written a book called The Wisdom of Group Decisions.

I understand a lot about human nature and how people interact with each other and why they disagree and techniques for bringing agreement. Things to do with helping groups make good decisions are in my inner circle.

As I move away from the realm of humans interacting with each other (humanities) and into the realm of humans interacting with other species (environmental science) or humans interacting with other things (engineering) or species interacting with each other (ecology) or things interacting with each other (chemistry), I know less and less.

The Theory of Relative Understanding holds that we understand things less and less the farther they are away from us; like concentric circles. I am simply acknowledging that the Theory of Relative Understanding applies to the Theory of Understanding; that this website reflects a much deeper understanding of humanities than chemistry.


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