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Dancing around the obvious

Transparency means to not colour or block the spontaneous flow of information. When we are incentivized to colour our perceptions, this colouring often happens below the level of our conscious attention.

If my hunger is stimulated by the smell of fresh bread, I may take several steps to address that desire, steps that might include asking you if perhaps your feet are tired and you’d like to stop for a rest - conveniently near the bakery.

I may not even realize my invitation to sit depends on the satisfaction of a motivation which has nothing to do with whether or not you are tired. But my decision chain is opaque to me.

We don’t generally regard this sort of thing as dishonest, however when magnified, at some level it becomes obvious, perhaps finally apparent to me only when it is brought to my attention that my concern was not for your fatigue - that false concern was simply a means to my end.

Some of the biggest lies ever told have their roots in this sort of duplicity, and grow from small unconscious deceptions into society-level misdirection.

You will often find the most transparency where there is the least to gain or lose. The songwriter who writes a song she thinks no-one will hear, the conversation had at the conclusion of a relationship where stark honesty seems neither to benefit nor further harm anything. Transparency can appear in what seems inconsequential because honesty actually takes less energy than engineering a narrative.

It is however, the song written that was written just for itself, the conversation had when there is nothing left to lose that are, to me, the most potent and spontaneous expressions of a world I’d like to inhabit more often. A world in which it is easier to just dance, than to dance around something.

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