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Truth is...

I first had these patches made back in 2015, and the world was different then. I've been hesitant to make another run, despite the warm response they've gotten over the years. I decided to go ahead with it and do my best to include some clarifying words to help an old design work in the current world.

Our collective grasp on reality has gotten...brittle. Maybe it always has been? The trajectory feels historically consistent, but I think it's fair to say that something has shifted or accelerated in recent years. The rhythm of life and discourse in the United States especially has become increasingly schizophrenic in nature, and there are more public narratives driven by paranoid conspiracy. Online cults have oozed their ideas into the mainstream, strongmen and fascists are riding a wave of global resurgence, and social media has hitched our outrage, fear, and alienation onto powering a dis/misinformation machine unlike anything in history. All of this has put the word "truth" into the mouths of every reactionary and huckster with an internet connection.

The quote is originally from Jiddu Krishnamurti, for whom I have some admiration but no loyalty. As a child he was abducted from India by the self-proclaimed clairvoyant (maniac) leader of a theosophic (cult) society who claimed that Krishnamurti was their messiah figure, that he would usher in a new era for humanity. In an incredible act of bravery, when Krishnamurti was given leadership of the group, he promptly announced its complete dissolution, stating:

"I maintain that truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce people along a particular path. ... This is no magnificent deed, because I do not want followers, and I mean this. The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth. I am not concerned whether you pay attention to what I say or not. I want to do a certain thing in the world and I am going to do it with unwavering concentration. I am concerning myself with only one essential thing: to set man free. I desire to free him from all cages, from all fears, and not to found religions, new sects, nor to establish new theories and new philosophies."

To me there are some very clear messages in this, but here's nothing I can do to prevent someone from wearing this patch to declare something that I disagree with, so I want to clarify what it means to me and what it doesn't.

It doesn't mean that the political party you like has everything right and the other one eats babies. It doesn't mean that the "globalists" are turning the frogs gay, or that there's 5G in the vaccine, or that migrants stole the good life from you. It definitely doesn't mean that your truth determines everyone else's reality. As ridiculous as ideas like this are, they seem to be flourishing in the current atmosphere, and I think it's dangerous to cede the language of truth to people who think this way.

I made the patch to honor the courage I see in Krishnamurti when he destroys the power that he possesses.

Against authority.

Against coercion.

Against certainty.

That's what the patch and (I believe) the quote are meant to impart.

So, if you wear it, please wear it with that in mind.


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