A definition of “coherence” to be found at Merriam-Webster online is: “1: the quality or state of cohering: as a : systematic or logical connection or consistency…” In every day terms that might be expressed as “making sense”. If something is coherent it makes sense, if it isn’t it doesn’t.
One additional term I need to include here is “integrity”. Merriam-Webster gives us: “1: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility 2: an unimpaired condition : soundness 3: the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness” That pretty much says it.
When we combine coherence with integrity within a concept, agency, person, we have something we can know and trust to be what it is and/or claims to be. How nice is that?
When it comes to the objects in our world, in order to understand them and use them successfully, in a way that will benefit our lives, we need to have coherent and integral information about those objects. If we do not have such information we are either uninformed or misinformed. Either condition is a set-up for something to go wrong. The truth of this is self-evident. We need good information to make use of the objects: machines, computers and even the basic tools in our lives.
If there were a movement going on to give Americans (or anybody) false, misleading information about the machines/technology/tools in our lives, in a way that would directly affect our ability to successfully use these devices we would recognize the wrong in doing so very quickly if not immediately. When people start losing body parts to lawn mowers, chain saws, other power equipment, when people can’t get their coffee makers to work or their computers to function properly: we would recognize something is amiss, it would be apparent. And we wouldn’t be happy about it.
But what about the events, the actions, that take place in our world? Do they matter less in terms of affecting our lives than the things, the objects? No they don’t. In fact the events, the actions that take place in our world can do affect our lives greatly. Not just actions but the reports of actions have started wars during my lifetime: Vietnam and Iraq for example. So actions and the reports of actions can and do affect our lives every bit as much, if not more, than the objects around us.
Yet while we would not tolerate being given false information about the objects in our lives. The VW exhaust scandal being a recent example of how we react to such inaccurate information; we repeatedly tolerate inaccurate reports about the important events, the actions taking place. And we don’t just tolerate them, we act upon them sacrificing lives and treasure.
Now President-elect Donald Trump has offended the U.S. intelligence community with his disparaging treatment of them. I have to say, while I am not at all generally happy with Donald Trump’s practices, this particular action caught my attention as a potentially positive statement. Again, during my lifetime, I have seen the “official sources”, citing intelligence data, with the mainstream media in the U.S. blindly following along, handing the American public blatant lie after blatant lie. And far too many Americans have been duped into believing the lies and either acting upon them or supporting the ill-founded actions based on them.
Examples of such events include: the Kennedy assassinations, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and the events of September 11, 2001 (9/11). While we may not know the full truth of what took place within these events, we can know by looking at the evidence that exists that the official stories are not the truth, not even close. Sometimes it is just a matter of looking at the authentic mainstream news reports that went out before there was an official story that needed supporting. And sometimes it takes a little more work accessing the authoritative independent research that has taken place. There are a lot of theories that exist around the independent research that has taken place around these events. However, for purposes of this article my goal is not to argue for any of these theories. My goal is to make the point that the official stories are not accurate and that we, as a people, do not seem to care. We don’t seem to place the value on coherence and integrity (the truth) regarding events that we do around the objects in our lives. Why is that?
Is it that the objects are, in their totality, right in front of us where we can see them and directly experience the truth of whether they work properly or not? On the other hand the events often occur far away and we are dependent upon the reports of others to know what happened? Is it that, as a population, we haven’t learned how to critically think and analyze the news reports that come to us? Or is it possibly that we have fallen too completely for the cults of personality that have become so prominent? Do we accept information because of who (a person, an agency) says something rather than an open, honest, critical examination of what it is they are saying?
No matter what the reason, the result is the same when we accept untruthful information about events as it is when we accept untruthful information about objects: a profound lack of things working as they should. When we accept bad information we can’t understand why things are going the way they’re going. It doesn’t make sense. When we take information lacking in coherency and integrity into ourselves, make it a part of our internal system, we have subjected ourselves to those deficiencies. Our thoughts and actions now lack coherence and integrity. This works on us, eroding our ability to function in a manner which most benefits ourselves and our families. We become dissonant rather than harmonious with the world around us. And we experience greater friction, frustration, anxiety, anger wearing us down, robbing us of the life in our years and years of our lives.