Truth and deep truth

October 25, 2010

There are times when a passage just stops me in my tracks. This happened tonight as I was reading a book that, it can be fairly said, has nothing to do with this blog (or if it did, it so blindly accepted the caloric balance premise that it was laughable – but I digress).

Neils BohrThe book is Decoding Reality: the universe as quantum information by Vlatcko Vedral. If the title intrigues you, I think you’ll find it a worthwhile read. The main idea of the book is that the existence of the universe may be expressed as information and that information is the only ‘thing’ that does not require another ‘thing’ for it to exist. I’m sure the author would laugh that one off pretty well, but if you do read the book, please let me know if that’s not an apt one-sentence summation.

Back ‘on topic’ for this ‘off topic’ post: it’s not all the absolutely mindboggling things the author wrote, it’s his quote of Neils Bohr that stunned me:

A shallow truth is a statement whose opposite is false; a deep truth is a statement whose opposite is also a deep truth

… and so you may fairly ask what is such a quote doing on a health blog – I don’t really have an answer – except to say it echoes a recurring theme I play and re-play in my thoughts a lot. It’s a variation on the idea that ‘within every great truth lies a paradox.’ If that is true, then those who tend to see paradoxes as mere contradictions are at a severe loss.

Maybe it’s the germ of the next blog that has been gestating for a while, who knows. Hope somebody gets as much out of it as I did.